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Full text of "Report of the Pennsylvania commission on old age pensions. March, 1919"

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Report of the Pennsylvania commission on 
3 1924 030 079 515 



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1 M.« c L i. 



O)/ REPORT V^?l''«/J 






OF THE 



PENNSYLVANIA COMMISSION 



OM 



OLD AGE PENSIONS 



MARCH, 1919 



HARRISBURG, PENNA.: 
S. L. L. KXTHN, PBINTBB TO THB COlOIOirWXALTH. 

1919 



CONTENTS. 



Page. 

I. Letter of Transmittal, 3 

II. Forward 5 

III. Introduction, 7 

1. History of Commission 7 

2. Scope of Commission's Work 8 

3. Methods of Procedure, 10 

4. Outstanding Features, 11 

5. Concluding Remarks, 13 

IV. Chapter I — The Problem of thv". Aged in Pennsylvania 15 

A. Study of the aged inmates in almshouses, 16 

1. Facts about inmates 15 

2. Character of almshouse paupers, 31 

3. Movement of almshouse population 34 

4. Status of County Almshouses 35 

5. Westmoreland County Home Investigation, o9 

6. General condition of county poor houses, i2 

7. The problem of outdoor relief, 59 

8. Northampton County Home Investigation, fiO 

9. Detailed budget study of Berk's county almshouse 61 

B. Study of inmates in fraternal and benevolent homes for the aged, 

1. Facts about inmates, 6(1 

2. General description of homes for the aged, 74 

C. Facts concerning recipients of private outdoor poor relief, 82 

D. Work of Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity, S6 

E. Study of the non-dependent aged population 88 

V. Chapter II — Extent and nature of existing pension systems in Pennsyl- 

vania 113 

1. Industrial pension systems in Pcnsylvaniu 113 

2. Railroad pension systems in Pennsylvania, 145 

3. Teachers' retirement funds in Pennsylvaniii, 159 

4. Municipal employees' pension systems, 179 

(a) Police retirement funds 179 

(b) Firemen retirement funds, 190 

(c) General municipal employees 193 

5. State employees' retiremi'nt provisions 195 

6. United States pensioner 197 

7. Old age benefits of fraternal organizations, 197 

8. Trade union superannuation benefits 200 

VI. Chapter III — The problem of old age pensions, — What it is 211 

1. Introduction, 211 

2. Voluntary insurance, 218 

3. Compulsory contributory insurance, 219 

4. Straight or non-contributory pensions 223 

(i) 



Page. 

5. iJniveimal and partial schemes of insurance 231i 

VII. Chapter IV— Old age pension systems of foreign countries 235 

A. Introductory note, 235 

B. Voluntary and subsidized systems, 235 

1. Belgium 235 

2. Canada, 237 

3. Italy 238 

4. Massachusetts 240 

5. Spain 244 

6. Switzerland 245 

7. Wisconsin, 246 

C. Compulsory contributory old age insurance, 246 

1. Austria, 246 

2. Chile, 247 

3. France, 248 

4. Germany 240 

5. Greece 252 

6. Iceland 253 

7. Iiuxumburg 253 

8. Netherland 254 

9. Norway, 256 

10. Roumania 258 

11. Russia, 258 

12. Sweden, 259 

13. Switzerland 260 

D. Non-contributory or straight pension systems, 262 

1. Alaska, 262 

2. Arizona, 263 

3. Australia, 268 

4. Denmark 266 

5. Great Britian, 267 

6. New Zealand 269 

E. Summary of existing old age pension schemes 271 

VIII. Appendix A 273 

1. Typical cases of aged dependents found in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh 

and Reading, 275 

2. Stories of almshouse inmates, 280 

3. Stories of abandoned parents, 281 

IX. Appendix B 288 

X. Appendix C, 290 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL. 



March 15, 1919. 

To the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania : 

In compliance with Joint Eesolution No. 413, providing for the 
appointment of a commission to investigate and report upon the 
subject of old age pensions, we have the honor to transmit to your 
honorable body^ the report which follows. 

Kespectfully, 

JAMES H. MAUKER, 

Chairman. 
(Mrs.) EDWIN C. GRICE, 

ALLEN W. HAGENBAOH, 
DAVID S. LUDLUM, 
HARRY W. SEMPLE, 
ALVIN C. SPINDLER, 
ABRAHAM EPSTEIN, 

Director. 



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m 



(4) 



FOREWORD. 



This volume marks the result of a task undertaken with some 
misgiving. When the Commission had been appointed the time 
allotted to the work had been lessened by several months. But, even 
with our limited period of activity, we feel that the result of our 
efforts is not at all discreditable. This is to a great extent due to 
the hearty efforts of those who engaged in the outdoor services, cov- 
ering the field of investigation, and who have given us valuable data. 
We were also much aided by the employers of the State, by the 
stewards and managers of charitable institutions, a number of uni- 
\ersity professors and the heads of the departments of the Federal 
and State Governments, to all of whom our thanks are due and 
tendered. 

The Commission wishes to give due credit to Mr. Abraham Epstein, 
the Commissions' Director of Kesearch, for his excellent service in 
bringing out this report. He has directed the out-door investigations, 
compiled the results, and written the comments of this, our tenta- 
tive accomplishment. 

Much credit is also due to the faithful services rendered by Mr. 

Anatole Feldman and Miss G. E. Maeder, the assistants in the office. 

We trust that all who study the pages of this report will derive 

equally, as much information from it, as we experience satisfaction 

in its presentation. 

JAMES H. MAURER, 

Chairman. 
(Mrs.) EDWIN C. GRICE, 

ALLEN W. HAGENBACH, 
DAVID S. LUDLUM, 
HARRY W. SEMPLE, 
ALVIN C. SPINDLER. 



(5) 




(6) 



INTRODUCTION. 



I. HISTORY OF COMMISSION. 

During the 1917 session of the General Assembly of Pennsyl- 
vania, Honorable Governor Wm. C. Sproul, then a member of the 
Senate, introduced joint resolution No. 413, providing for the 
appointment of a commission to investigate and report upon the 
subject of old age pensions. The resolution follows.- 

"Whereas, Progressive legislation has been enacted in some 
States and nations establishing a system of pensions for aged and 
incapacitated citizens, and a number of plans for accomplishing 
this result have been suggested at various times in Pennsylvania; 

"Therefore, be it resolved. That the Governor of this Common- 
wealth be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to appoint 
a commission, to consist of seven reputable^ citizens of Pennsyl- 
vania, who shall serve without compensation other than for their 
reasonable expenses, to look into the general subject of old-age 
pensions, and to investigate the various systems provided for this 
purpose in other nations and States, together with all the facts 
relating thereto, especially as bearing upon the industrial and 
other conditions prevailing in Pennsylvania, and with a view to 
their practical adaptability here. Said commission to have full 
powers to subpoena witnesses and to secure information under the 
authority of the Government of the Commonwealth, and to make 
its report to the Legislature not later than March fifteenth, one 
thousand nine hundred and nineteen. Said commission shall con- 
sist of two members of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsyl- 
vania, who have studied social problems, two employers of labor, 
two members of recognized labor organizations, and one citizen of 
the Commonwealth, who shall be a woman experienced in the study 
of social problems. Said commission shall formulate such plans 
for its organization and work as may seem desirable to its member- 
ship; and an appropriation of five thousand dollars (|5,000), or so 
much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby specifically made for 
the purpose of carrying out the work of said commission." The 
resolution was approved by Governor Martin G. Brumbaugh on the 
25th of July, 1917. 

In accordance with the provisions of the resolution. Governor 
Brumbaugh appointed the following persons as members of the 
Commission: Judges Robert S. Frazer and Emery A. Walling, 
representing the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; Messrs. Wilson 

(7) 



H. Brown, of Philadelphia aud David S. Ludlum, of Ardmore, rep- 
resenting employers of labor; Messrs. James H. Maurer of Beading, 
and Harry W. Semple of Philadelphia, representing organized labor 
add Mrs. Edwin C. Grice, of Philadelphia. The first meeting of 
the Commission was held in the Governor's oflSce, on November 20th, 

1917. At this meeting, Mr. James H. Maurer was elected permanent 
chairman. A short time later Judges Frazer and Walling sent in 
their resignations because they felt it inadvisable for judges of the 
Supreme Court to serve on a commission and help draft legislation 
which they might in the future be called upon to judge with refer- 
ence to its constitutionality. In their stead. Governor Brumbaugh 
appointed Messrs. Warren K. Miller, of Allentown, and Alvin C. 
Spindler, of Pittsburgh, as representatives of the bar. In October. 

1918, the Commission lost, through death, two of its most active 
members in Wilson H. Brown aud Warren K. Miller. The latter's 
place is now filled by Mr. Allen W. Hagenbach, of AUentown. The 
place of Wilson H. Brown is still vacant. 

The first organization meeting of the Commission did not occur 
until February 1918. At this time the Commission engaged a sec- 
retary who gave part time to the Commission's work. The intensive 
work of the Commission did not begin until the engagement of Mr. 
Abraham Epstein, as Director of the Commission's researches in 
the latter part of June 1918. 

II. SCOPE OF COMMISSION'S WOEK. 

The resolution specified that the Commission "look into the gen- 
eral subject of old-age pensions, and to investigate the various sys- 
tems provided for this purpose in other nations and States, together 
with all the facts relating thereto, especially as bearing upon the 
industrial and other conditions prevailing in Pennsylvania, and 
with a view to their practical adaptability here." To comply with 
this was an immense task in the short period of time left. The 
Commission was immediately confronted with numerous perplexing 
problems. The resolution required it to answer (1) with regard to 
the general subject of old age pensions; (2) as to the various sys- 
tems provided for this purpose by other states and nations and (3) 
as to the soundness and need of such action in Pennsylvania. From 
the start, however, it became aware that in addition to the above, 
it would also be required to examine what has already been done 
in this State and its adequacy to meet the needs; the mistakes 
pointed out and the improvements suggested in the existing pro- 
visions toy students of the problem. It also knew that if it deter- 
mines that a pension or insurance scheme is necessary in Pennsyl- 
vania, in order to cope with the needs of the aged, it would have 



to decide as to the exact plan for such a system. Shall it be a sys- 
tem of voluntary savings, compulsory-contributory insurance, or 
straight pensions by the State? If a contributory pl^n is suggested, 
the question is raised as to who shall contribute and What amounts? 
How shall it be collected? If gratuitous pensions are to be granted, 
how shall it be administered? At what age shall a pension be 
given? Of what amount shall it be? What shall be the qualifica- 
tions for a pension? What shall Ibe done with the disabled or 
injured? Will it be in harmony with existing conditions of wages 
and standards of living? What effect will it have upon self-depend- 
ence and thrift? What do the people of this Commonwealth think 
and desire? And finally, what is the most appropriate and most 
constructive form of legislation the Commission can suggest, which 
would insure its passage by the legislature and its approval by 
the great majority of the citizens of this Commonwealth? In plan- 
ning its work, the Commission realized that duplication of the work 
done by other Commissions and individuals was a great waste of 
time. It has, therefore, carefully examined the work already done 
by other State Commissions, federal departments and various stu- 
dents of the problem before undertaking its own investigations. It 
was also aware that co-operation with agencies and individuals 
working along the same lines was invaluable, and the Commission 
has everywhere sought to secure the co-operation of such groups. 
While the Commission fully appreciates, and does not at all mini- 
mize the value of public hearings in legislative matters — where rep- 
resentatives of various groups are given the opportunity of express- 
ing their ideas upon the subject, — it became convinced, after one 
or two such hearings, that they were of little value, unless the Com- 
mission is equipped with some facts and knowledge of the subject to 
be discussed. Most of the material, ordinarily presented at such 
hearings, are largely repetitions, or reiterations of opinions held 
by individuals, often with no facts to substantiate them. 

In its attempt, to comply with the spirit, as well as with the 
specific provisions of the resolution to the best of its ability, within 
the remaining period of time, the Commission deemed it necessary, 
in order to look into the general subject of old age pensions, to 
examine carefully its origin, the plans alrearly adopted by the dif- 
ferent foreign countries and the proposed plans of insurance or 
pensions. Fortunately, much of this material has been already 
presented and discussed by various state commissions and othfer 
individuals interested in the subjects. In order to ascertain the 
conditions and the needs of the aged in Pennsylvania, the Commis- 
sion found it essential to deal not only with the effects of depend- 
ency and aged poverty, but also to learn something of the causes 
underlying such dependency. To do this, it was not suflScient to 



10 

confine the investigations to the dependent classes alone. At the 
very outset, the Commission became cognant of the fact that no 
intelligent idea of the problem of aged dependency could be obtained 
without a study of those aged, who, although nominally non-depend- 
ent, are nevertheless, in need of, and entitled to some assistance. 

III. METHODS OF PROCEDURE. 

With the above outlined aims in mind, the Commission proceeded 
with its investigations in the following manner. It held personal 
interviews with 3,405 inmates, 50 years of age and over, in 60 alms- 
houses in the State. Information was collected with regard to the 
age of the inmates, at time of investigation, and time of admission, 
nativity, ^family connections, physical condition, cause of disability, 
occupation engaged in, weekly earnings, sources of income, means 
of outside support, etc. Interviews of a similar nature were also 
held with 2,170 inmates in 65 fraternal and benevolent homes for 
the aged in the State. Information, concerning identical points, 
of nearly 500 aged recipients of private relief was ascertained from 
the records of a number of charity organizations in the State. With 
reference to the non-dependent aged, house-to-house canvasses of sev- 
eral sections in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Reading were con- 
ducted by the Commission's agents. Nearly 4,500 men and women, 
50 years of age and over, in these cities, were interviewed along 
the lines enumerated above. 

In order to obtain some idea as to the truth of the often repeated 
assertions, that most paupers are a worthless lot, and are generally 
recruited from the ne'er-do-well class, the Commission selected at 
random about 100 cases of almshouse residents and followed these 
up by inquiries of their former employers with reference to their 
general character, length of service, quality of service rendered, etc. 

Because of limited funds and time, the Commission was unable 
to look exhaustively into the general conditions of the almshouses 
and their management. It has, however, attempted to secure, as 
much knowledge as was possible under the circumstances, regard- 
ing the legal provisions and stata of the poorhouses and aged homes ; 
the relation of the State Board of Public Charities to these institu- 
tions; the average cost per capita per inmate in these institutions, 
a.nd the problem of outdoor relief. It has also succeeded in making 
a detailed budget study of at least one county home, regarding the 
farm products produced, the amounts and kinds of food consumed by 
the stewards and inmates respectively, and the actual per capita cost 
of the inmates, when all expenses were considered. 

The extent and nature of the existing means provided for the pro- 
tection against old age was ascertained by the Commission after a 



11 

careful examination of all the pension schemes existing in the State. 
These included the pension systems adopted by the various industrial 
concerns, railroads, municipalities, the State, the United States, 
fraternal organizations and trade unions. 

Being unable, because of the difficulties of war conditions, to 
secure first hand information regarding the various systems of old 
age pensions as established in European countries, the Commission 
relied for its information upon this point, mostly upon authoritative 
treatises of other State Commissions and individual students. An 
attempt was made, however, to bring the data up to date, as far as 
was possible. 

IV. OUTSTANDING PEATUEES. 

The Commission's investigations so far, have brought out certain 
points to the fore-ground which, it is to be hoped, will throw light 
upon the whole problem of the aged. It appears from the Commis- 
sion's study of the general aged population in Pennsylvania, that 
aside from the aged dependents found in almshouses, benevolent or 
fraternal homes, and those receiving public or private relief, there 
is a considerable proportion (43 per cent.) of the aged population, 
50 years of age and over, in the State, who, when reaching old age, 
have no other means of support, except their own earnings. Only 
a small percentage (38 per cent.) of the general aged population in 
the State claim to possess personal property of their own. This 
would indicate clearly that many of these aged folks — when their 
power of earning is steadily declining with advancing years — will 
fall dependent, in many cases thru no fault of their own, either 
upon the State or upon private charity. The investigations also 
show that in most of the industries in our State, many workers be- 
come unfit before reaching the age of 50, with the inevitable result 
of steadily decreasing earnings. In certain industries, like that of 
the railroads, for instance, it appears that more than half of the 
workers become impaired before their 50th birthday. It is also 
shown that when the prime of life has passed, many Pennsylvanians 
are compelled to change their occupations, which ordinarily in- 
volves a decline in wages. This decline, with the majority of aged 
people, appears to be due entirely to sickness and enfeebled age. The 
increasing problem of old age stands out even more significantly, 
when it is remembered that while the earning powers of most wage- 
workers are steadily decreasing, after a certain period of age has 
been attained, the expenditures on food and rents, even under normal 
price conditions, remain the same, while that on medicine is steadily 
increasing. The investigations also disclose that as far as Penn- 
sylvania is concerned, the problem of th? support of the aged is 



12 

largely a native problem, rather than an imported one. The immi- 
grant paupers all claim to have had a long term of residence in 
both the United States and Pennsylvania. 

Regarding the aged panpers and the non-dependent aged classes, 
the outstanding differences lie, it would appear, in the respective 
family connections and physical conditions. In the almshouse 
pauper groiip, 40 per cent, were found to be single, 39 per cent, 
widowed, and only 16.9 per cent, married. Among the inmates of 
benevolent homes for the aged, the percentages were: 30.1 single; 58.3 
widowed; and only 7.8 married. More than 65 per cent, of both 
of these groups had no children living, and of those that had chil- 
dren, more than 90 per cent, were reported unable to help support. 
On the other hand, among the non-dependent aged, only 5.4 per cent, 
were found to be single, 38.2 were widowed, while 55.1 per cent, 
were married and still living together. Only 10.6 per cent, of the 
latter group had no children living. Again, of the paupers, nearly 
90 per cent, had never possessed any property, while the percentage 
of the propertyless among the non-dependent aged, was 62 per cent. 
With regard to the physical condition, it is also shown that while 
64 per cent, of the aged persons residing in their own homes were 
still in fair or sound physical health, the percentage of those in good 
health in pauper institutions was 35.0, in the case of the inmates of 
the benevoleiit institutions, and only 12.3 per cent, in the case of 
the almshouse inmates. 

That dependency in Pennsylvania is not entirely due to the personal 
shortcomings of the individuals, is evidenced from the excellent 
recommendations given practically all the inmates of almshouses, 
followed up by the Commission, by their former employers. Giving 
due consideration to the fact that most humans will strain a point 
rather than give a poor recommendation, the reliable qualities of 
these inmates are evidenced nevertheless, from the fact that most 
of these inmates have served for long periods of time with one em- 
ployer (30 per cent, serving for more than 10 years). 

The Commission's investigations also disclose an exceedingly con- 
fusing and bewildering system of management of our county poor- 
houses. Not only do many of the ofladals connected with these in- 
stitutions, have little knowledge of the problems involved in the 
care of the aged, but there is obviously a laxity in the management 
of these institutions and the distribution of county funds. The 
State supervision of these aged homes is insufficient, loose and hardly 
competent. Careful records are kept in only few institutions. There 
is no uniform method of accounting. Computations of costs are 
made in almost as many forms and methods as the men making 
them. Many of the per capita costs of almshouses given in the re- 
ports of the Board of Public Charities do not represent the actual 



13 

cost. ITie latter do not include the interest upon the permanent 
investment and, in many cases, do not include the value of farm pro- 
ducts. According to the Commission's estimate from records sub- 
mitted by the directors of the poor to the State Board of Public 
Charities, the average cost per capita per inmate, in 1917, was $5.87 
per week. The cost in the private institutions was even higher than 
that. It is also shown that in a few instances the per capita costs 
were more than abnormally high. 

From the Commission's study of the existiug means providing for 
the protection of the aged and superannuated, it is also apparent 
that they are insufficient and can never be expected to meet the 
situation to any extent. It is shown that of all the numerous forms 
of aged benefits provided, only about 10,000 aged people in the 
State are actually benefited. Of the numerous large industries in 
I'ennsylvania only about twenty make it a rule to care for their aged 
employees after long and faithful service. While all the large rail- 
roads in the State pension their faithful workers — after a long 
period of service — the number of railroad workers actually benefited, 
as compared ^^ith the total number of workers in this industry, is in- 
significant. It also appears that only the first and second class 
cities in Pennsylvania provide against the old age of their various 
municipal employes. The number of persons who may expect old 
age benefits, as such, from fraternal or trade union organizations is 
hardly worth considering. 

In the third and foui-th chapters of this report, the Commission 
has aimed to present in a concise and brief manner the methods 
advocated and adopted by various countries in dealing with the aged 
problem. The advantages and disadvantages, and the arguments 
in favor and against each particular scheme are presented, it is 
hoped, in an impartial fashion. It was the purpose of the Com- 
mission to present this solely from the student's attitude, as the 
Commission itself, because of the lack of time and the disputed and 
contradictory facts is, as yet, unable to decide upon the merits or 
demerits of any of the schemes presented, and as to their applica- 
bility in Pennsylvania. 

V. CONCLUDING REMAKKS. 

In the following report, the Commission designed to assemble cer- 
tain concrete facts and it is presenting them with no sense of finality. 
Not only does the Commission consider its investigations still in- 
complete, but no attempt has been made in the following pages, to 
exhaust the possibilities of further statistical calculations and com- 
binations. In presenting its findings, as embodied in this report, 
only the salient features of the analyzed data have been discussed. 
The Commission is fully aware of its shortcomings. The latter was 



14 

partly due to the limited funds and time at its disposal, and to the 
extraordinary times in which it was forced to do its work. The 
phases still ahead of it are too numerous to be mentioned. Because 
of the disputed and contradictory arguments regarding the various 
schemes established by foreign countries, and because during the 
period of war it was difiicult to secure first-hand information upon 
the subject, the Commission is still unable to decide upon the fav- 
orable points of -these various claims, or to decide upon any con- 
structive measure of legislation at this time. The war has proved 
the acid test of the soundness of many a social measure, and the 
Commission would, therefore, urge further study of these schemes 
as they have been affected and as they have survived in the countries 
having just finished the war. As far as conditions in Pennsylva- 
nia are concerned, the Commission deems it still necessary to secure 
more complete information, as to the nuniber of people actually in 
need when reaching old age. It is also important to secure an ap- 
proximate estimate of the sums now expended upon the dependent 
aged by the different public and private relief organizations. In the 
consideration of a contributory or nonrcontributory system of pen- 
sions, it is still important to secure more light regarding the exact 
incomes and expenditures of certain classes of wage-earners in the 
State. This would be possible only after complete budget studies 
were made of representative families in several parts of the State. 
Again, it may be essential to make a complete enumeration of the 
aged people in Pennsylvania before the best method of legislation 
can be proposed. The Commission, therefore, presents in this re- 
port the findings it has gathered, imd hopes, that whether thru 
itself or another body, the study of the problem wiU be further car- 
ried on and promoted to a successful termination. 

Fully conscious of its shortcomings and incompleteness, the Com- 
mission, nevertheless, feels most happy to state that it has tried to 
do the best with the limitations it had to confront. It is its most 
cherished hope that much of the data collected will prove of real 
benefit, not only to this Commonwealth, but to other states and 
agencies, who in common, aim to see a better and happier world 
to come. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE PROBLEM OF THE AC5E1) IN PENNSYLVANIA. 



STUDY OF THE AGED INMATES IN ALMSHOUSES AND DISCUSSION 0L< 
SOME RELATED PHASES. 

In a study of the aged population in Pennsylvania, the senile 
gioup residing in the almshouses and poor districts of the different 
counties, constitutes a large and important factor. This class of de- 
pendents is supported almost entirely by taxation, and as such, its 
consideration is of prime importance. For the purpose of studying 
the problem of aged dependency in Pennsylvania, it is highly essen- 
tial that the present social and economic status of these inmates 
be ascertained. This alone, however, would be of little value if no 
light was secured upon their previous condition and the causes that 
led to and underlie their dependency. There being very meager rec- 
ords of the inmates kept by the different almshouses, the Commission 
deemed it necessary — in order to obtain as complete data as pos- 
sible — to interview these inmates individually with reference to the 
desired facts. A card schedule for this purpose was devised and 
printed. 

The enormous task of interviewing the inmates in the numerous 
almshouses and poor districts in the State, with the limited time and 
money the Commission had at its disposal, could not have been com- 
pleted without the generous co-operation and assistance extended by 
the different heads of the institutions. The Commission wishes here- 
with, to acknowledge its gratitude to the three score or more super- 
intendents and stewards, who altho confronted with many difficulties 
■ — that of a depleted force due to the war and the ravages of the 
Influenza Epidemic — have given much of their time and generous co- 
operation. In many instances several hundred inmates were inter- 
viewed for the purpose of the Commission. Of the 82 almshouses in 
the State, 58 have returned the schedules containing the interviews 
with their inmates. Only about a dozen institutions have'either not 
replied to our several letters or have not returned the schedules 
forwarded them. And only one — Berks County Almshouse — defi- 
nitely refused to co-operate with the Commission. 

As in all ovir studies, we have here dealt only with the inmates 50 
years of age and over. A total of 3,405 aged inmates were interro- 

(15) 



16 

gated in 58 different almsliouses and poor districts in all parts of 
the State. Some of the largest institutions canvassed were: the 
Philadelphia Almshouse, where 744 men and women were inter- 
viewed ; Pittsburgh City Home, where over 300 residents were inter- 
viewed and Allegheny County Home, and Central Poor District of 
Luzerne County where 205 and 225 inmates were questioned respec- 
tively. In approximately a dozen other places, over 100 inmates in 
each were canvassed while all the inmates of the smaller places were 
interviewed. Practically all the schedules were filled out by the 
individual heads of the institutions or by competent representatives 
thru personal interviews. Only the inmates of the Philadelphia Alms- 
house and Dauphin County Almshouse were canvassed by the Com- 
mission's agents. 

A letter of inquiry addressed to the Poor Directors of a number of 
counties with regard to the total number of inmates in their respective 
almshouses, and the percentage of those who are 50 years of age and 
over, shows — for those who responded to our request — that 74.75 per 
cent, of the total number of inmates are 50 years of age and over. The 
percentage for the same age group in 1910, as given by the U. S. 
Census of Paupers, was 69.6 per cent, for Pennsylvania and 73 per 
cent, for the whole United States. 

TABLE NUMBER 1. 

Ages of Inmates at Time of Investigation. 
Acre Period. Number. Per Cent. 

50 to 55 444 13.4 

55 to 60 175 13.9 

60 to 65 483 14.1 

65 to 70 658 19.3 

70 to 75 518 15.2 

75 to 85 587 17.2 

85 to 100 128 3.8 

Not stated 112 3.1 



3405 100.0 

The preceding table indicates that of the 3,405 inmates investigated, 
27.3 per cent, were under sixty years of age; 33.4 per cent, were 
between 60 and 70 and 36.2 per cent, were over 70 years of age. 



17 

TABLE NUMBER 2. 

Ages of Inmates at Time of Admission. 



Age Period. 


Number. 


Per Cent, 


Under 30 


31 


1.00 


30 to 40 


92 


3.00 


50 to 55 


:U)5 


11.52 


55 to 60 


453 


13.35 


60 to 69 


535 


15.60 


65 to 70 


553 


16.30 


70 to 75 


388 


11.44 


75 to 80 


253 


7.46 


SO to 90 


1S8 


5.44 


90 and over 


15 


.44 


Not Stated 


185 


5.45 



3,391 100.00 

Prom the second table it appears that only about 13 per cent, were 
admitted under 50 years of age; 24.87 per cent, were admitted be- 
tween the ages of 50 and 60 ; 31.9 per cent, between 60 and 70, while 
over 24.78 per cent, were admitted after they had reached their 
seventieth year. A comparison between our figures and those ob- 
tained by the Massachusetts Commission on Old Age Pensions in 
1908 is of interest. In the New England State only S per cent, of 
those investigated entered the almshouse before the age of 60 and 
92 per cent.' had passed their sixtieth year before they took up resi- 
dence in the almshouse. The higher rate of those entering almshouses 
below the sixtieth year in Pennsylvania may be explained by the 
highly developed industries peculiar to this Commonwealth, which, 
requiring greater physical stress, wear out and incapacitate men at 
an earlier age. For those admitted during the year 1910 to the alms- 
houses of the entire country, the percentages were 17.7 between 50 
to 59; 18 from 60 to 69 and 15.3 per cent, over 70 years.* 

As would be expected, the age of admission is considerably lower 
tlian the age given at time of investigation. It is obvious, that the 
great majority of the aged inmates enter the institution late in life. 
This would indicate a close relationship between institutional pau- 
perism and old age. The combination of advanced years and infir- 
mity, when coiipled with the fact, that in most cases these people 
have no one to depend or fall back upon is — as will be seen later — 
IJie chief cause compelling an aged person to go to the poorhouse. 

•The lower percentages given by the census are due to the fact that the latter percentages were 
compared with the total almshouse population, while the percentages given in Table No. 2 are 
based on the group 50 years of ago and over. 



18 

Most men will stay out of an almshouse as long as they can. When 
tliey are compelled to take up residence there, it is usually not due 
to personal or other misfortunes in earlier years, but in most cases 
is the result of feebleness and lack of assistance from other sonrce.J. 

TABLE NUMBER 3. 
Nuinhcr of Years in 1 iixtilutioii. 

Number 
Length of Time. Investigated. ' Per Cent. 

Under 1 year, 626 18.40 

1 year to 3 years, 1135 33.33 

3 years to 5 years, 487 14.30 

5 years to 10 years, 520 15.27 

10 years to 15 years, 232 6.81 

15 years to 20 years, 106 3.11 

20 A'-ears and over, 160 4.70 

Not stated, 139 4.08 

3,405 100.00 

The above table is noteworthy. It is clear that the almshouses are 
to a large extent only temporary shelter places. Nearly 52 per cent, 
have been in the almshouse less than three years; 29.57 per cent, 
have been there from 3 to 10 years, and only 14.62 per cent, lived 
tJiere more than 10 years. The 1910 census report of the paupers in 
Pennsylvania shows very similar percentages; 54.2 per cent, residing 
in the almshouse less than three years; 29.8 per cent, from three to 
ten years and 15.6 per cent, who have resided for a longer period than 
ten years. For the entire United States, of those investigated in 
1910, 53 per cent, were in almshouses less than three years ; 28.6 per 
cent, resided there from three to ten years and only 17.6 per cent, 
were in almshouses for a longer period than 10 years. 

There are no figures available to show what percentage of the aged 
almshouse inmates in Pennsylvania are discharged for various 
reasons and the percentage of those that die during the same period. 
In the 1916 Report of the State Board of Public Charities, the per- 
centage of discharged persons in almshouses is given as 73.43 per 
cent, and the percentage of those who died as 17.47 per cent. These 
percentages, however, are for the entire almshouse population; and 
the rate of those removed by death is obviously higher for the aged 
population. In the entire United States during the year 1910, ac- 
cording to the U. S. Census Report of Paupers in Almshouses, 3 7,486 
deaths occurred among paupers in poorliouses. This number amounts 
to a death rate of 207.7 per 1,000 of the almshouse population at the 
beginning of the year. The death rate in the general population of 



19 

the registration states in 1910, was 14.7 per 1,000. The census fig- 
ures for 1910 also show that in the almshouses, throughout the 
United States, the average length of stay in these institutions is 
somewhat greater for females than for males. Of the males, one-third 
have been in institutions less than one year; of the females one 
fourth. The approximate average length of stay was 4.9 years for 
males as compared with 6.6 lor females. This is, of course'to be ex 
pected. 

TABLE NUMBER 4. 

Numhci- of Admis-Hons to the Almshouses. 

Number 
Number of Times Admitted. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Admitted for the first time, 2,166 78.93 

1 to 3 times, 377 13.74 

3 to 5 times, 128 4.66 

5 to 10 times, 54 1.96 

10 to 15 times, 10 .36 

15 to 20 times, 7 .25 

20 times and over, 3 .10 

2,745 100.00 

The table showing the number of admissions of the canvassed in- 
mates gives a higher rate of single admissions in Pennsylvania than 
that prevalent in the whole United States. Seventy-nine per cent, 
of the inmates investigated by the Commission were admitted for 
the first time ; 13.74 per cent, had been admitted once or twice before 
and only 7.33 per cent, had three or more admissions to their credit. 
For the United States as a whole, of those in pauper houses during 
1910,- 63.3 per cent, were admitted for the first time; 24.3 per cent, 
had from one to three previous admissions, while 12.5 per cent, were 
admitted three or more times. It would appear that in Pennsylvania 
tiie almshouses are used as mere temporary relief agencies to a lesser 
extent than they are in other states. This is perhaps explained by 
the fact that it is more difficult for aged men to find suitable work in 
our industries than is the case in other states. On the other hand, as 
was pointed out before, Pennsylvanians may be more worn out in 
tlieir old age than are those who are accustomed to lighter labors in 
their younger days. ' 

TABLE NUMBER 5. 

Sex. Number. Per Cent. 

Male, 2,136 62.74 

Female, 1,269 37.26 



3,405 100.00 



20 

Table number five shows the preponderance of aged males over aged 
females in the almshouse population. AVhile the above figures are 
somewhat lower than the percentages given in the 1910 Census of the 
I'aupers in Pennsylvania — 68.1) per cent, for males and 31.1 per 
cent, for females— this may be explained again by the fact that the 
Commission's enumeration was only of those 50 years of age and over 
while that of the census included all inmates. It is also interesting 
to remark that the above percentages found by the Commission are in 
exact agreement with the percentages found by the Massachusetts' 
Commission on Old Age Pensions in its study in 1908. The compara- 
tive difference between the sexes in the almshouses and that prevailing 
iu the entire State population is significant. According to the 
Thirteenth United States Census, the percentage of males in the 
entire State population was 51.4 per cent, and that of females 48.0 
per cent. The reasons for the disproportionate number of nia]e 
paupers in institutions over female paupers may be explained in sev- 
eral ways. Children or relatives will make greater sacrifices in order 
to keep an old mother at home and prevent hei- going to a poorhouse, 
than they would for an aged father or other male relative. Aside 
from the sentimental reasons involved, the presence of an old woman 
around the home — unless she is absolutely invalided — entails little 
burden, as she can be made useful in numerous Avays. This, however, 
is not the case with an aged man. Aged women are also more gen- 
erously provided for by private charity than are aged men. The per- 
centages of aged men and women who are inmates of benevolent and 
private Homes for the Aged, as stated elsewhere, are 23.54 and 76.46 
per cent, respectively. The relationship here is thus radically re- 
versed from that of the almshouse population. 

TABLE NUMBER 6. 
Conjugal Condition. Number. Per Cent. 

Single, 1,361 40 .05 

Married, 577 1694 

Widowed, 1^336 39.14 

Divorced, 23 .67 

Separated, 3 1q 

Not stated, IO5 3^10 



3,405 100.00 

The foregoing table, with respect to the conjugal condition of alms- 
house inmates, is of more than passing significance. It will be ob- 
served that the single and widowed, constitute nearly eighty per 
cent, of the total number of inmates. The marital conditions of 



people over forty-flve years of age in the entire State, as given in the 
United States Census for 1910, was for males, single 9.1 per cent.; 
n'arried 77.7 per cent, and widowed 12.6 per cent ; and for women the 
percentage for those over 4.5 years of age was, single, 10 per cent , 
marked 60.3 per cent, and widowed 29.2 per cent. The marital condi- 
tions of paupers, for the entire United States as given by the census 
is as follows: Single 50.2 per cent.; widowed o2.5 per cent.; mar- 
ried 13.7 per cent. 

Some light may be shed on the problem of aged pauperism, by 
comparing the preceding figures with those obtained from the house- 
to-house studies conducted by the Commission. In the latter group 
tiie respective percentages are: Single, 5.4 per cent.; married, 55.5 
per cent., and widowed, 38.3 jier cent. These figures would seem 
to indicate that the prime reason why the aged poor cannot remain 
in their own homes, or in those of their parents or close relatives is 
because, as a rule, most of these institutional paupers have no one 
to fall back upon in their declining days. Having no children of their 
own, their parents dead, and in many cases, with few relatives, to be 
relied upon, these paupers seek the institution as the last resort 
for shelter and nourishment. The wide difference between the popu- 
ktions of single people in the almshouses and those living at hoipe, 
doubtless, explains why the former are inmates of pauper institu- 
tions and the latter are classed as "nonKlependent." 

It may be interesting at this point, to call attention to the differ- 
ent conclusions arrived at by the Massachusetts Commission with ref- 
eience to the same phase. In Massachusetts, the Commission found 
that "the average of single persons is only 15.1 per cent, among the 
aged poor, whereas in the general population of the State it is 55.51 
per cent." Based on this, the Commission concludes: "It is evi- 
dent that the heavier burdens imposed by family life contribute some- 
tJiing towards the volume of poverty in the State." This inference 
if! certainly not warranted from the figures obtained by the Com- 
mission or from the figures of the U. S. Pauper Census of 1910. Even 
ip Massachusetts the percentage of widowed in the institutions in all 
classes averaged 52.7 per cent, as compai^ed with 6.36 per cent, in 
tlie general population of the State. The Commission's investiga- 
tions showed thruout that where theie were children or other 
relatives able to help, all efforts were made to assist and support 
tlie aged person, rather than send him or lier to the poorhouse. 

The small percentage of married persons in the almshouses is 
worthy of notice. Only 16.94 per cent, are married. The percentage 
of married paupers as given in the United States Pauper Census is 
even lower than this figure — 13.7 per cent. This is to be contrasted 
with 55.5 per cent, found in the house-to-house studies and 69 ])<'r 
cent, for those over 45 years of age in the entire State population, 



according to the Thirteenth IT. S. Census. While the percentage of 
tliis group in pauper institutions is comparatively small, it consti- 
tutes nevertheless, the most acute problem of institutional care. Of 
those having their mates living, only 9.9 per cent, were residing to- 
gether in the same institution; 90.1 per cent, were separated and 
compelled to give up home ties and life-time associations in order 
to avail themselves of the benefits of the poorhouse. About 5 per 
cent, of the mates living are confined in penal institutions or insane 
asylums. Thirty-two per cent, live in other poorhouses while the 
great majority, it appears, manage to stay with some friend or rela- 
tive. As this group admittedly, has a home, a system of relief which 
would insure the advantages of home environment over that of the 
institution has been generally recognized as superior and urged by 
students of the problem.* 

TABLE NUMBER 7. 

Nuinbcr of Children Living. 



Number. 

None 

1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

C 

6 and over 

2,319 100.00 

The above table further emphasizes the isolation of the majority 
of the inmates who must avail themselves of the comforts of the 
almshouse. Sixty-three and 51 hundredths per cent of those investi- 
gated have no children living; 13. .5 per cent have but one child living, 
\^diile only 23 per cent have two or more children living. A com- 
parison at this point \N'ith the same aged gioup studied in the 

*It may not be amiss to relate at this point the following conversation taken from a letter by 
Mr. T. V. Powderly, in the "Report of Committee on Miners' Home and Pension," Page 24-25. 
It tells the stoiT of the National Soldiers' Home, located in the District of Columbia. The story 
follows: "One day I met an inmate of the Home and during our conversation he informed me 
that a feeling of discontent pervaded the whole place, that but few were satisfied. I remarked 
that I had heard quite a few of the inmates were crazy and he confirmed the statement. I asked 
how many men were in the Home. He said, 'eight hundred and seventy-eight.' My next ques- 
tion was, 'How many of the inmates are crazy?' His answer, solemnly stated, was, 'eight hun- 
dred and seventy-eight.' When I expressed surprise, he explained: 'Of course that statement 
of mine is an exaggeration. I don't mean to infer that every man in the Home is insane in^ 
the popular acceptance of that term, but they are all crazy for a sight of their old homes for 
the sound of loved ones' voices, for the companionship of old home friends. Our lives are lone- 
some to a degree. We were all strangers to each other until a short time ago, and being 
thrown suddenly together we cannot assimilate or form new friendships that are anything like 
the old ones. Some of us have wives and children back home and it is heartbreaking to be so 
far away from and out of sight and sound of them." 



Number 




Investigated. 


Per Cent. 


1,477 


63.51 


311 


13.50 


177 


7.70 


131 


5.62 


95 


4.12 


66 


2.83 


26 


1.11 


36 


1.61 



^o 



house-to-house canvasses is significant. In the latter group, only 
10.63 per cent had no children living; 15.8 per cent had only one 
child, while nearly 70 per cent had two or more children alive. 

The data obtained with regard to the ages of the children living 
shows that more than 13 per cent, of them are adult, indicating that 
this aged group has few dependents. On the other hand, 89.93 per 
cent of these children are reported as unable to support their parents. 
The majority of these children are burdened with large families of 
their own. Most of them also belong to the ranks of the unskilled 
workers and earn wages which are hardly sufficient to maintain their 
own families in comfort. Only a very small percentage, namely: 
4.15 per cent have children believed to be fully able to support their 
parents, while an additional 6.86 per cent are able to help support 
the parents if ready to make the required sacrifices. 

Only 22 out of a total of 1,179 cases investigated are reported as 
having children fully able to support them but who refused to do so. 
A similar study by the Ohio Commission on Health and Old Age 
Insurance, conducted at the same time, gives 7 per cent of the chil- 
dren fully able to support their parents, but who refuse to do so. 
It would seem from this, that filial duty is more generally recog- 
nized by the people of our own State than it is in our neighboring 
State. The laws of Pennsylvania obligate children to maintain 
their parents. The percentage, however, of those who refuse to do 
so, is so small as to constitute a negligible problem. 

Nearly 95 per cent, of the aged inmates investigated, have no other 
relations able to help support them. The scanty family connections 
of the inmates are very significant in considering the establishment 
of a state-wide pension system and the amounts to be allowed. The 
majority, having neither children nor relatives with whom they could 
reside, could hardly leave the institution when granted a small pen- 
sion. Most of the inmates would Iiave to remain in the institution 
unless the sum granted them would be suflicient to provide them 
with at least as much comfort in a private family as those obtained, 
in the poorhouse. 

TABLE NUMBER S. 

Nativiti/ of the Almshouse Iiniuites TuvcKtiffated. 

Place of Birth. Number. Per Cent. 

Pennsylvania 1,267 44.00 

United States, 366 12.71 

Foreign, 1,247 43.29 

2880 100.00 

In 1910, according to the United States Census, the total native 
born in Pennsylvania was 6,028,994 or 81.2 per cent, and the total 



24 

foreign born was 1,442,374, or IS.S per cent. In 1900 tke percentages 
were S4.4 per cent, and 15.6 per cent, respectively. This gives an in- 
crease of 3.2 per cent, in the foreign born in the State during the ten 
year period. It is evident from the above table that the percentage 
of paupers who are of foreign birth is much higher than tlie per- 
centage of foreign born in the general population. The former group 
constitutes 44 per cent, of the total number in almshouses or mo.'e 
than double the percentage of foreigners in the entire State popu- 
lation. The percentage of foreign born in almshouses in 1910 for 
the entire United States was 39.3 per cent., while the percentage of 
foreign born in the same year in the population of the country was 
14.7. What has been said in the preceding pages about the family 
connections of the almshouse inmates generally, is even more aggra- 
vated in the case of foreign born, who in many instances leave all 
their family ties behind them. 

Of the native born, only a small percentage, 12.71, were born in 
other states. Forty-four per cent, were born in I'ennsylvania. Al- 
though the percentage of paupers born in other states is somewhat 
greater than the percentage of those born in other states in the 
entire population — OO.G per cent, for those born in Pennsylvania and 
only 9.4 per cent., of those born in other states in the population of 
1910 — it is nevertheless true that the great bulk of aged pauperism 
in this State is home grown rather than imported. 

TABLE NUMBER 9. 

Couidry of Birtli of the Foreign Bom. 

Number 
Country. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Ireland, 462 38.79 

Germany, 250 20.99 

England, 114 9.57 

Austria, 110 9.23 

Wales, 51 4.28 

Poland, 49 4.11 

Scotland, 38 3.19 

Italy, 25 2.09 

Xorway and Sweden, /20 1.68 

Kussia, 18 1.51 

France, 17 1.43 

Switzerland, 11 1.00 

Other nations, 26 2.13 

Total, 1,191 100.00 

Of the 1,191 foreign paupers, from whom the country of birth was 
ascertained, 38.70 per cent, claimed Ireland as the country of their 



25 

birth. Germany was the fatherland of 20.99 per cent. England and 
Austria were the native lands of 9.57 per cent, and 9.23 per cent., re- 
spectively. Wales, Scotland and Poland contributed each less than 
5 per cent., while Prance, Italy, Eussia, Norway and Switzerland 
added each less than 2 per cent. 

The ranking of the foreign born in the State at large in 1910 wa^' 
as follows: Austrians, 17.5 per cent., Eussians 16.7 per cent., Ger- 
mans and Italians each 13.6 per cent., while Ireland ranked fifth with 
11.5 per cent. It is of interest to note that while Austria leads the 
foreign born in the entire State population it is the fourth on the list 
of those contributing aged paupers ; and Eussia, the second in the 
g€;neral foreign born population, contributes less than 2 per cent, to 
the pauper institutions. On the other hand, Ireland, ranking fiftli 
in the entire foreign born population in the State, contributes more 
than four times the number furnished by the highest ranking for- 
eign group, and more than twenty times the foreign group ranking 
second in the general population. Germany ranking third in the 
foreign born population of the entire State, ranks second in the num- 
ber of paupers contributed, while Italy, with a ratio similar to that 
of Germany in the entire State population, conlributes only 2 per 
cent, to the pauper population. 

The strikingly high percentage of foreign born paupers furnished by 
Ireland and Germany, as compared with those immigrants who come 
fiom the east and south of Europe, is significant. It can only be 
explained by the fact that the immigration from the latter countries 
is of comparatively recent date. Most immigrants come here in their 
prime of life; and it would appear that for a time they are able to 
work arid remain away from the poorhouses. Another factor may 
perhaps be found in the language difficulties encountered by the 
foreigners from the East and South Enropean countries. Able to 
converse only in their native tongues, these immigrants make greater 
efforts to remain away from public poorhouses, where the only 
language spoken is foreign to them. It is also a fact that the earlier 
classes of immigrants have come here to stay, Avliile many of the 
more recent types of immigrants return to their native lands when 
approaching old age. The fact, moreover, that most of these inmates 
come from the lowest ranks of labor, and that the Irish and Ger- 
mans have admittedly, a comparatively higher standard of living, 
would indicate a lesser ability in this group to save and provide for 

old age. 

The percentage of naturalized voters among the foreign born in 
almshouses is 70.3 per cent. The percentage of voters in this group 
is much higher than among the foreign born in the general popula- 
tion of the State. Only 33.6 per cent, are naturalized in the latter 
group. 



2G 
TABLE ]S UMBER 10. 

Length of Time in the United States. 

Number 
Number of Years. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Less than 10 years, 22 2.00 

10 to 20 years, 51 4:.62 

20 to 30 years, 177 16-03 

30 years and over, 854 77.35 

l"^ 100.00 

Only 2 per cent, of the foreign born answering this question were 
here less than 10 years ; nearly 5 per cent, were in the United States 
from 10 to 20 years ; 16.03 per cent, resided here from 20 to 30 years 
and 77.35 per cent, lived in this country 30 years and more. For the 
eutire United States pauper population of 1910, the percentages were 
ae follows: Less than 10 years in the United States, 3.5; ten to 10 
years, 0.04; twenty years and over, 79.9 per cent. These figures 
further bear out the fact that recent immigrants do not contribute 
any considerable number of candidates to the aged almshouse 
poi)ulation. 

TABLE NUMBER 11. 
Length of Residence in Pennsylvania. 
Number of Years. Number. Per Cent. 

Less than 5 years, 16 1.52 

5 to 10 years, 41 3.90 

10 to 20 Tears, 88 8.36 

20 to 30 years, 155 14.73 

30 years and over, 752 71.49 

1,052 100.00 

Of the aged inmates who were born either in foreign countries or 
in other States of the Union, only about 5.5 per cent, were residing in 
Pennsylvania less than 10 years. Twenty-three per cent, were resi- 
dents of the State from 10 to 30 years, while 71 per cent, lived here 
SO years and more. 

TABLE NUMBER 12. 

Physical Condition of the Aged Inmates. 

Condition. Number. Per Cent. 

Sound or fair health, 436 12.80 

Bad or poor health, 985 28.92 

Crippled, maimed or deformed, .... 450 13.21 



27 

Defective in sight or hearing, 316 9.30 

Feeble-minded, ?QS 9.04 

Eheumatic, 247 7.25 

Chronic sickness, 131 3.85 

Kidney Trouble, 15 .44 

Tuberculosis, 26 .76 

Epileptic, 117 3.43 

Dropsy, 10 .30 

Not stated, 364 10.70 

3,405 100.00 

One would naturally expect to find a great number of the aged 
in almshouses to possess some sort of physical defect. Of the 3,405 
cases investigated, only 12.80 per cent, are reported as being in good 
or fair health. Of those reported in bad or poor physical condition 
28.92 per cent, were in a general state of poor health; 13.21 were 
crippled, maimed or deformed; 9.04 per cent, were feeble-minded; 
0.3 per cent, were defective in sight or hearing; 7.25 per cent, were 
rheumatic; quite a number were epileptic and a number were suf- 
fering from various diseases. Of the total number investigated only 
5 per cent, were reported as able bodied ; 40 per cent, were partially 
disabled, while 55 per cent, were totally incapacitated. For the 
same age group in the house-to-house studies, 04. 3 per cent, are re- 
ported in good or fair health, and only 35 per cent, are in poor 
health. In the total i>auper population of the United States in 
1910, the percentage of able-bodied was 20.64 per cent. The leading 
defects for the United States as a whole are given as follows: Old 
and infirm, 32.08 p6r cent. ; feeble-minded, 24.68 per cent. ; crippled, 
maimed or deformed, 25.64 per cent., with small percentages due to 
various other causes. The foregoing may be indicative of the pre- 
vailing physical defects of the aged inmates. 

A study of 22 typical infirmaries by the Ohio Commission showed 
that out of the 2,260 cases investigated, 830 or 36.46 per cent, were 
old and infirm; 305 or 13.4 per cent, were defective mentally and 
1,125 or 49.77 per cent, sufi'ered from disease or physical defects. 
These figures, secured in the same year, show great similarity to ours, 
and from the view point of establishing a pension for all, it is 
evident that the small percentage of able-bodied in this group of 
dependents would not take away a great number of these inmates 
from the institutions. The causes of disability are given m the fol- 
lowing table: 



28 
TABLE NUMBER 13. 

Causes of DisuhHitj). 

Cause. Number. 

Sickness, 627 

Old age, 603 

Accident, 230 

Loss of limb or organ, 76 

Feeblemindedness, 1J^6 

Paralysis, 53 

Alcohol, 81 



Per Cent. 

34.5 
33.4 
12.7 
4.2 
7.7 
3.0 
4.5 



1,810 



100.00 



The preceding table brings out what has been pointed out many 
times before i. e., that sickness is the chief factor in poverty and 
pauperism. Although 33.4 per cent, are reported as incapacitated 
directly because of old age it is probable that many of these became 
old prematurely due to sickness. The small percentage attributed 
to alcohol is significant when it is taken into consideration that in 
a few instances, the superintendents in filling out the schedules 
added intemperance as a cause in cases of accident or loss of limb. 

TABLE NUMBER I4. 

Causes of Disability According to the Occupations Inmates Were 

Engaged in. 



Kind of Occupation. 



CAUSE 



Sickness. 


Old Age. 


Accident. 


Alcohol. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


64 


53.28 


27 


25.23 


17 


15.88 


fi 


5.61 


25 


48.07 


17 


32.69 


7 


13.49 


3 


4.78 


6 


26.08 






16 


69.57 


1 


4.35 


888 


44.95 


262 


34.84 


104 


13.83 


48 


6.38 


87 


58.78 


40 


27.02 


12 


8.12 


» 


6.08 


76 


55.06 


2.S 


16.07 


28 


20.28 


n 


7.97 


55 


48.24 


23 


20.18 


29 


25.44 


7 


6.14 



Total. 



Building trades 

Steel industry, : 

Railroad workers, 

Outdoor and casual occupa- 
tions, 

Indoor and sedentary trades, _ 

Skilled trades, 

Miners, 



107 



752 
148 



The preceding table may shed some light upon the aged problem 
as affected by the particular Pennsylvania industries. The out- 
standing facts here are: (1) with the exception of those engaged 
on railroads, sickness— and not the industrial occupation directly— 
is the leading factor in incapacity. Only on railroad work does 
accident figure as the leading cause of incapacity. This is not onlv 
the case with the pauper group but holds true of the nondependent 



29 

group as well, as is shown in another part of this report. Sickness 
also ranks highest among indoor occupations as a cause of inca- 
pacity. Disability through old age follows next as a cause in this 
class of occupations. The latter cause also ranks highest among 
outdoor occupations and lowest among miners and various skilled 
trades. This is to be expected, as there are more men engaged in 
unskilled and casual occupations at a late period in life, than there 
are in any other group. The low rate of disability due to old age, 
attributed to skilled mechanics and miners may be explained by 
the fact that with the development of modern machine processes, 
men are scrapped much earlier in life and aged men are generally 
undesirable in the skilled trades. Miners, on the other hand, age 
prematurely, and in both occupations the accident rate runs high — 
25.44 per cent, for miners and 20.28 per cent, for skilled groups. Old 
age is not given as a cause of disability among railroad workers, 
doubtless, because of the disproportionate accident rate prevalent in 
that industry. Alcohol as a factor of disability is highest for skilled 
and sedentary trades, with casual occupations coming next, while 
railroad workers give the lowest rate. 

TABLE NUMBER 15. 

Previous Occupations and Occupations Before Admission. 

Previous Number Per Last Oc- Per 

Occupations. Investigated Cent. cupation. Cent. 

Skilled and semi-skilled, 485 19.10 348 17.94 

Common and unskilled,. 1197 46.97 924 47.66 

Domestic service, 110 4.32 113 5.82 

Housewife, 583 22.93 451 23.26 

Farmers, 82 3.30 51 2.62 

Miners, 45 1.77 25 1.30 

Professional, 14 .55 .. 

Clerical, 26 1.06 27 1.40 

2,542 100.00 1,939 100.00 

It is evident, from the foregoing table, that there was little 
change in the nature of occupations the inmates were engaged in 
during their earlier years and those followed immediately preceding 
admission to the almshouse. Most of the inmates have been engaged 
iu the same occupation all their lives. While the kinds of occupa- 
tions given include almost every pursuit in life — professions not 

excluded the great bulk is recruited from the ranks of the unskilled 

and common labor groups. More than 47 per cent, come from this 
Housekeeping and domestic service rank second with 27 per cent., 
followed by skilled aud semi-skilled trades with 19.10 per cent. 
Other occupations yield but small percentages. 



30 

In the pauper population of the United States in 1910, the com- 
mon and unskilled laboring groups furnished about 36 per cent. 
Farmers, planters, and dairy farmers constituted 12.1 per cent of 
the entire United States pauper population, but constitute less than 
2 per cent in Pennsylvania. The different skilled trades also con- 
tribute considerable numbers to the entire United States pauper 
population. 



TABLE NUMBER 16. 

Weekly Wages Earned Earlier in Life and Immediately Preceding 

Admission. 



Amount Earned per Week. 


Earlier 
in lite. 


Per cent. 


Immediately 
preceding 
admission. 


Per cent. 




113 

95 
200 
411 
170 
191 
70 
7 
1 


8.93 

7.65 
15.82 
33. 5S 
13.44 
15.11 
6.53 
.65 
.65 


100 
103 
200 
306 
99 
110 
49 
11 
2 


10.20 


$ 3 to $ 5, 


10.50 


$ 5 to $ 8, - ; 


20.42 


$ 8 to $12 - 


31.15 


$12 to $15, 

$15 to $20, 

$20 to $30, 

$30 to $40, 


10.10 
11.23 
6.08 
1.12 




.20 








1,264 


lOO.OO 


979 


lOO.OO 



The outstanding difl'erences in the wages earned by the canvassed 
inmates in their earlier ages and that earned before admission is 
tliat while .32.30 per cent, earned less than |8.00 per week in their 
earlier years, a greater number or 11.12 per cent, were earning the 
same sum prior to their admission. On the other hand, while 61.07 
per cent, were earning between .$8.00 and .1i;20.00 per week in their 
younger days, only .52.48 per cent, were earning the same amount 
at the time of admission. This would prove that the earning power 
of these inmates was gradually declining, due either to old age 
or similar causes. The small wages earned by the majority of the 
inmates also seem to shoAv that many of these aged folk could not 
earn a sufficient sum to maintain themselves in comfort. Of those 
who reported their last earnings before admission, 72.27 per cent, 
were earning less than .«12.00 per week; 21.33 per cent, earned be- 
tween |12.00 and .'?20.00 per week and only G.4 per cent, were mak- 
ing $20. 00 or more a week. 



REPORT 

U\ - OF THE 

PENNSYLVANIA COMMISSION 



ON 



OLD AGE PENSIONS 



MARCH, 1919 



'N 



HARRISBURG, PENNA.: 

J. L. L. KtTHN, pi^IflTBE TO THB CX)MMONWBALTH. 

1919 







.nt. 



(2) 



31 

TABLE NUMBER 17. 

Cause of Loss of Earning Foiver. 

Number 
Cause. Investigated. Per Cent 

Sickness, 1,151 63.70 

Old age, 385 21.31 

Accident, 174 9.63 

Husband's death, 21 1.16 

Intemperance, 76 4.20 

1,807 100.00 

The causes attributed to the decrease in earning power were given 
as follows: 63.7 per cent claimed sickness as a cause; 21.31 per 
cent, attributed their loss of earning power to old age; accidents 
were the cause of 9.63 per cent. ; 4.20 per cent, was attributed to in- 
temperance; and 1.16 per cent., in the case of women, lost all 
support by the death of their husbands. 

Of more than 2,000 inmates questioned, as to their property hold- 
ings, 191 or 9.5 per cent, claimed to have had property above debts. 
More than 90 per cent, never possessed any property of their own. 
At the time of investigation less than 1 per cent, were receiving in- 
comes from property holdings or savings. The losses sustained by 
those who previously owned property, were attributed to sickness 
by 35.5 per cent. ; to need of immediate support by 34 per cent. ; to 
fraud by 9 per cent. ; to business failures and fire losses 14 per cent., 
and 3 per cent, lost property through bank failures, while a similar 
number lost their property through intemperance. Ninety-eight 
per cent, of those investigated had no source of income available at 
the time of investigation. 

CHARACTER OF ALMSHOUSE PAUPERS. 

"The records of the inmates are very imperfect from the fact that 
the inmates are so feeble-minded and infirm that the majority do not 
know their ages or their previous occupations. They are all natives 
of Pennsylvania, and all single or widowed, with the exception of 
one who is here because of desertion by her husband. None have 
any means of income, but one gets a soldier's pension. Two inmates 
have two brothers who have some property and, no doubt, would 
take them in their homes, if they were not feeble-minded. The class 
of people in the almshouse are those who can't keep themselves and 
would not know what to do with money if they had some." 

"The dependents in almshouses are of such a character that it seems 
to me it is a waste of time as to their past life. Most of them were 
nothing but parasites in society all their days, not one worthy of an 



old age pension, if it could be had. They are mentally and morally 
degenerates ; most of them foreign born, and half of them never 
naturalized. Tramps in summer and here in winter. The only 
record that could be had would be unreliable, for there is no way to 
obtain it but from them. Hence, we go into few details when they 
are admitted. The. average life of an inmate has been a failure, 
lyrgely due to the fact that they never realized what a successful life 



is." 



The above typical expressions of sentiment come from two secre- 
taries of the Poor Directors, in different parts of the State. From 
the preceding discussions something of the truth with reference to 
the statements of the nativity and naturalization of the inmates has 
been learned. It is obvious from this that a better understanding of 
the character of these inmates is not only essential when contem- 
plating the establishment of a pension system for the aged, but is 
equally as necessary in order to comprehend the pauper problem as 
a whole. Assuming that the sentiments expressed in the last letter, 
are based upon facts, it would seem that the proper places for such 
people are the jails and workhouses rather than the almshouses. 
"Mental and moral degenerates" have no place in homes, presumably, 
for the relief of the worthy poor and inflrm. If this is not the case 
it shows a fundamental laxity in the management of some of these 
homes. The connection of a person holding such views with an 
almshouse is dangerous and detrimental to the morale of the home 
and the welfare of the inmates. Such a person cannot be expected, 
but to look upon the inmates as wretched ingrates who must be 
treated like criminals, with the hope of reforming them — if not for 
this world, then for the next one. A home under such a person is 
little short of a jail. 

The Commission considered this question of the character of the 
inmates of serious and vital importance. To undertake however, 
a following up of these inmates in their former localities and to 
ascertain their general characters from friends and relatives, was pro- 
hibitive with the limited time and money at the Commission's dis- 
posal. However, in order to obtain some light upon this point, a 
question with reference to the name and place of the last employer, 
and year when employed was inserted in the almshouse schedule. 
Because of the difficulty of finding the record of employes in many 
industries — where men are generally known by check number— the 
number that could be followed up, and from whom returns could be 
secured simmered down to somewhat more than 100. The cases 
followed up were selected at random from the residents of about 
thirty different alm.«liouses and represent workers of varied occupa- 
tions. 



33 

The letter addressed to the former employers requested informa- 
tion with regard to the length of time in employ, the quality of service 
rendered, the general character of the employe, and the reason for 
leaving employment. 

Twenty per cent, of the answers received with regard to the time of 
employment stated that the men in question had worked less than 
six months; 21.5 per cent, were employed from six months to three 
years ; 29 per cent, served from three to ten years, Avhile 30 per cent. 
were engaged for ten years or more continuously. 

As to the quality of service rendered, only 4.5 per cent, reported of 
bad service; 80 per cent, reported that the services were either satis- 
factory or good, while 15 per cent, reported of excellent service. 

As to the general character of the employes, only 5.9 per cent, 
claimed that these former workers were drunkards or lazy; nearly 
95 per cent, reported of good, honest and faithful characters. 

The above is substantiated by the reasons given by the former 
employers for leaving their employment. Forty per cent, quit work 
because of sickness ; fifteen per cent, because of old age ; twenty-two 
per cent, either because the work was completed or the shop was 
shut down, while 20 per cent, gave no reason for leaving service and 
only 1.6 per cent, were discharged from their employment. 

Some of the recommendations given these inmates are most inter- 
esting. The following few are typical ones: 

"He had charge of our tool room and stock rooms and was one of 
the best men in this position we ever had. (H. B. Underwood & 
Co.)." 

"We always considered him a good and reliable workman. (Pitts- 
burgh Spring & Steel Co.)." 

"Steady, industrious, reliable workman. (Pressed Steel Car Com- 
pany)." 

"Our superintendent reports Mr. W. as of excellent character, 
honest, and did his work most satisfactorily. (Dorhan's Monitor 
Carpet Mills)." 

"A good steady man and a good mechanic. (Pennsylvania Iron 
Works)." 

"This man was only disciplined three times during his 48 years 
of service with the Pennsylvania Railroad." 

"Faithful employe while working in this colliery. (R. & R. C. & L. 
Co.)." 

"He worked for me off and on as general utility man around the 
house and I always found him very willing and a good worker." 

"He is a good printer and I never knew a more kind hearted and 
generous man." 

"As far as we can judge from business connections with him, he 
is honest and deserving." 



34 

"L. W. was one of the best and most reliable men that worked for 
me. An A number one man." 

The following include all the recommendations given, illustrating 
the opposite type of inmate : 

"He owes my mother five meals and one night's lodging, to this 
date." 

"Down and out on account of drink." 

"He would absent himself at times for several weeks while on 
drinking bout." 

"His father was foreman in the shop until his death. His son 
was never dependable on account of drink." 

"Was a good teamster and good to his horses. One thing I am 
sorrj' to say, his money was all spent for booze." 

MOVEMENT OP ALMSHOUSE POPULATION. 

The ratio of almshouse paupers per 100,000 population in the United 
States, according to the 1910 tJensus, has declined steadily since 1880. 
In that year there were 132 paupers in almshouses to every 100,000 
population. It fell to 116.6 in 1890 ; 101.4 in 1904 and 91.5 in 1910, 
The ratio of the growth of the pauper population between 1904 and 
11)10 was one-fourth as great as that of the total population. In 
I'ennsylvania there were 9,054 paupers in almshouses in 1904, con- 
stituting 133.2 per 100,000 population. In 1910 the total pauper 
population was 9,606 or 123.5 per 100,000 population. Thus, while 
the total population between the two periods increased 12.8 per cent., 
the almshouse population increased 6.1 per cent, or less than half.* 

The number admitted during the year 1904 to the Pennsylvania 
almshouses was 9,738 or 143.8 per 100,000 population. In 1910, 
9,467 or 123.5 per 100,000 population were admitted. During the 
latter year there were 271 or 2.8 per cent, fewer admissions than in 
the former year. 

The latest report of the Board of Public Charities for the year 
1916 gives the total adult inmates on January 1, 1916, as 17,237. 
This was 182 less than the number on the same day the year before. 
During the year 1916 there were admitted to these institutions 25,,- 
543 adults. In the same year there were discharged, for various: 
reasons, 25,482 leaving in the institution on December 31, 1916, a 
total of 17,278. This was 61 more than there were on the first of 
the year, but 33 or .02 per cent, less than the number at the end of 
the previous year. From the reports, submitted by 73 almshouses 

•It is pprhaps Important to warn in this connpction against the' conclusion that this decline is 
due to a decrease In poverty, or to the increased well being of the population as a whole. It 
is, undoubtedly, larpoly the result of the chanees made since 1880 in the methods of dealing with 
the poor. Not only has there been more -adequate legislation governing the administration and 
admissions to almshouses — wliich previously served as the place of refuge for all classes of un- 
fortunates — but in addition, recent years have witnessed a tremendous development in all kinds 
of homes and asylums of fraternal and beneflrial organizations. The latter bave kept manv 
people at home, who would have otherwise, been inmates of almshouses. Private organized 
charity has also 4one ipqch to prevent the poor from going to pauper houses. 



35 

to the Board of Public Charities for the year 1917, which were ex- 
amined by the Commission, the total average population during that 
year was 16,716. 

The floating nature of the almshouse population is significant. 
The number admitted during a year is ordinarily much higher than 
the number in the institutions at a certain time. And the number 
discharged during a year equals the number admitted during the 
same year, and at times even exceeds that number. The permanent 
population is usually a little more than either of those admitted or 
discharged during the year. The floating population is composed 
largely of the ne'er-do-well group. This class usually leaves the 
institutions during thVsummer months, when they are able to secure 
casual employment. They return to the almshouses when winter 
comes, after they have nothing left. Tt is evident that the alms- 
house is not the proper place for these misfits of society. In most 
cases these men are able-bodied and capable of Avork. The almshouse 
with no means of employment, only encourages them to further idle- 
ness. 

The 1916 Eeport of the Board of Public Charities attributes the 
discharge of the adults during that year to the following causes : 

Dismissed, 18,612 73.03 

Died, 4,611 18.10 

Eloped, 1,824 7.16 

Removed, 410 1.61 

Deported, 25 .10 

Total, 2.VS2 100.00 

STATUS OF COUNTY ALINISHOUSES. 

The 67 counties in Pennsylvania are divided into over 100 poor 
districts. There is no systematic arrangement of poor districts. It 
may constitute a whole county, parts of two counties, a city, a bor- 
ough, a township, a group of townships or a borough and a town- 
ship. There are 82 regular almshouses in the State. Forty-five of 
these are county institutions and 37 are local poorhouse districts. In 
addition, there are a number of small houses which are used by the 
individual boroughs or the township poor districts for the tempo- 
rary accommodation of the poor, and the granting of partial support. 
The following counties have no almshouse or poorhouse: Cameron, 
Fulton, Juniata, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Union and Wyoming. The 
location of many almshouses are in remote and inaccessible parts of 
the existing poor districts. 

No general revision of the Pennsylvania laws relating to the poor 
has taken place since 1S36. The chaotic and conglomerate legal con- 



36 

fusion may be evinced from the fact that at the present time there 
are over eleven hundred Acts of Assembly relating to the poor. 
Eight hundred of these are local and special laws. "There is no 
uniformity in the laws relating to the appointment or election of 
Poor Directors who may serve as such ; the proper and uniform title 
of such officials; types of approved plans for almshouses; manage- 
ment and accounting ; taxation for support ; inspection ; segregation 
of sexes and classes of inmates ; admissions and discharges and pay- 
ments for support."* 

The reponsibilities and appointments of the poor authorities are 
regulated by the various Acts of Assembly. These are shaped and 
guided largely by the demands of the particular localities at the 
particular time. Some of these acts designate the county commis- 
sioners, while others place the management of all affairs relating to 
the poor in boards called "Directors of the Poor." In the smaller 
districts the poor are taken care of by "Overseers of the Poor." 
These officers are empowered to provide lands and buildings 
adequate for the care of the poor of the district and also to care 
for them by housing them, or in dispensing outdoor relief. The 
compensation of the different poor directors is regulated by law 
from time to time and is usually graded in accordance with the 
population of the particular district. The directors are elected for 
four years. 

There is neither a uniform regulation of admission to almshouses 
nor conditions of legal settlement in the Poor districts. Admissions, 
at present, are placed in the hands of the Court, Justices of the 
Peace, Magistrates, Directors of the Poor and other authorities. 

An act x>assed in 1913 provides "that the real estate of any pauper 
shall be liable to the expenses of his support, maintenance, and burial, 
incurred by any poor district, whether owned at the time such ex- 
penses were incurred or acquired thereafter." ** 

The State Dependents Commission concludes in its report that 
"the vital thing to be secured, is the welfare of the dependent. Every 
social institution, should submit to the most exacting publicity. So- 
ciety has a right to know, not merely how its money is spent but how 
its dependents are actually cared for. No properly conducted charity 
resents expert advice or friendly criticism. Those that do should 
l>e watched and supervised by proper and competent authority."*** 
It is probably with this idea in view that there was created in 
Pennsylvania as early as 1S69 the State Board of Public Charities. 
This body consists of five commissioners appointed by the Governor 
"who together with the General Agent and Secretary shall constitute 
a Board of Public Charities." "The commissioners," it is provided, 



*Report of the State Dependents Commission of 1915, page 14. 

•^Pennsylvania Ivaws, 1913, pag:e 564. 

***Report of State Dependents Commission, page 20. 



37 

"shall receive no compensation for their services but their actual 
tiaveling and necessary expenses. This Board is to meet at least 
once in every three months." 

The duties and powers of the General Agent and Secretary of the 
Board of Public Charities as amended in the Act of 1913 read as 
follows : 

"SECTION 4. The General Agent and Secretary of the Board of 
Public Charities shall hold his office for three years, unless sooner 
removed ; he shall be a member of the board ex-offlcio ; and it shall 
be his duty to cause a correct record of its proceedings to be kept, 
oversee and conduct its outdoor business, visit all charitable, penal, 
reformatory, and correctional institutions in the State at least once 
in each year, except as hereinafter provided, and as much oftener as 
the board may direct; he shall prepare a series of interrogatories, 
with the necessary accomijanying blanks to the several institutions 
of charity, reform and correction in the State and to those having 
charge of the poor in the several counties thereof, or any subdivision 
of the same, with a view to illustrate in his annual report the causes 
and best treatment of pauperism and crime, and shall have free access 
to all reports and returns now required by law to be made; and he 
may also propose, for the approval of the board, such general investi- 
gations as he may think best. He shall be paid annually the sum 
of five thousand dollars (5,000), and his additional traveling ex- 
penses. 

"SECTION 5. The said commissioners shall have full power, 
either by themselves or the general agents, at all times to look into 
and examine the condition of all charitaMe, reformatory, or correc- 
tional institutions within the State, f.nancially and otherwise; to in- 
quire and examine into their methods of instruction, the government 
and management of their inmates, the official conduct of trustees, di- 
rectors, and other officers and employes of the sam,e; the condition of 
the buildings, grounds, and other property connected therewith, and 
into all other matters pertaining to their usefulness and good man- 
agement ; and for those purposes they shall have free access to tlie 
grotmds, buildings, and all books and papers relating to said insti- 
tution ; and all persons now or hereafter connected with the same are 
hereby directed and required to give sucli information, and afford 
such facilities for inspection, as the said commissioners may require; 
and any neglect or refusal on the part of any offlcer or person con- 
nected with such institution to comply with any of the requirements 
of this act shall subject the offender to a penalty of one hundred 
dollars f|l 00.00), to be sued for and collected bv the geneml agent 
in the name of the board. The commissioners shall also have power 
to employ such experts, clerks, stenographers, and other employes of 
all kinds as the business of the Board of Public Charities and that of 
XI, „ r<^TviTni++oo nn T,nTiiicv Tnflv renuire. 



38 

"Whenever, upon the examination of any jail, prison, penitentiary, 
or almshouse, any condition shall be found to exist therein which, in 
the opinion of said commissioners, is unlawful or detrimental to 
the proper maintenance, discipline, and hygienic condition of such 
institution, or to the proper care, maintenance, and custody of the 
inmates therein the said commissioners shall have power to make 
such recommendation to the warden, inspectors, trustees, sheriff, 
commissioners, overseers of the poor, or other officer or officers 
charged hy law with the government of such institution, as said com- 
missioners may deem necessary and proper to correct the said ob- 
jectionable condition ; and in case of the neglect, failure, or refusal 
of such officer or officers to comply with such recommendation, or in 
case of his or their failure to make such attempt to comply there- 
with as shall be satisfactory to the said commissioners, within ninety 
days from the date of service of said recommendation upon them, the 
said commissioners shall certify the fact in the case, together with 
their recommendation, to the district attorney of the proper county, 
whose duty it shall be thereupon to proceed, by indictment or other- 
wise, to remedj' the said objectionable condition. 

"SECTIOX 6. The said commissioners, by themselves or their 
general agents, are hereby authorized and required, at least once in 
each year, to visit all the charitable and correctional institutions of 
the State receiving State aid, and ascertain whether the moneys ap- 
propriated for their aid are or have been economically and judiciously 
expended ; whether tlie object of the several institutions is accom- 
plished ; whether the laws in relation to them are fully complied with ; 
v.hether all ])arts of the State are equally benefited by them, and the 
various other matters referred to in the fifth section of this act ; and 
in their annual report to the Legislature, to embody the result of 
their investigations, together with such other information and recom- 
mendations as they may deem proper. 

"SECTIOX 7. The said board shall also require their agent, at 
least once in every two yeiirs, to visit and examine into the condition 
of each of the city and county jails or prisons and almshouses or 
poor houses, and shall i.ossess all the power relative thereto, men- 
tioned in the fifth section of this act,, and shall report to the legis- 
lature the result of the examination, in connection with the annual 
T-(p)rt autliorized liy tliis act. 

"SECTION 8. It sliall be the duty of all persons having charge or 
oversight over the poor in any city or county of this State, or in any 
subdivision thereof, and all persons having charge or control of county 
jails or prisons or workhouses, and all other persons having charge 
or control over any other charitable, reformatory, or correctional in- 
stitution, not now by law required to make an annual report of the 
condition of the same, io make report annually to the said commis- 



39 

sioners, at such time, upon such form, and in such manner, as they 
may prescribe, of such fact and statements concerning the same as 
they may require; and all charitable, reformatory, and correctional 
institutions now required by law to make annual reports shall here- 
after make and transmit the same to said commissioners, on or be- 
fore the first day of September in each year; and all such institu- 
tions now receiving or that may hereafter desire to receive State aid 
shall annually give notice to said commissioners, on or before the 
first day in September in each year, of the amount of any appli- 
cation for State aid which they may propose to make and of the 
several purposes to which such aid, if granted, is to be applied. Any 
neglect or refusal on the part of any person having charge or con- 
trol over any jail, prison, workhouse, or charitable, reformatory or 
correctional institution, to make the report required by this act, or 
otherwise required by law, shall subject the offender to a penalty of 
one hundred dollars ($100.00), to be sued for and collected by the 
General Agent in the name of the board. 

"The commissioners may prescribe to all institutions receiving 
State aid a method of keeping their books ; and the commissioners 
shall make no recommendation for the allowance of State aid to any 
such institution which shall not adopt said system. 

"SECTION 9. Whenever any such institution shall thus give 
notice of asking for State aid, the commissioners shall inquire care- 
fully into the grounds of such request, the purpose or purposes for 
which the aid is asked, the amount which will be required, and into 
any matters connected therewith and in the annual report the result 
of such inquiries shall be given, together with the opinions and con- 
clusions of the board thereon. 

"SECTION 12. The Board of Public Charities shall annually pre- 
pare and print, for the use of the legislature, a full and complete re- 
port of all their doings during the year preceding, stating fully in 
detail all expenses incurred, all officers and agents employed, with a 
report of the general agent and secretary, embracing all the respective 
proceedings and expenses during the year, and showing the actual 
conditions of all charitable and correctional institutions within the 
State, with such suggestions as the board may deem necessary and 
pertinent ; and the said general agent and secretary is hereby author- 
ized to prepare the necessary blanks and forward the same, in good 
season, to all institutions from whom information or returns may be 
needed, and to require a prompt return of the same, with the blanks 
properly filled." 

WESTMORELAND COUNTY HO]\rE TNVESTIOATION. 
A perusal of this act would seem to give the Board of Public 
Charities full and drastic powers of supervision over all public in- 



4U 



stitutions. In view of this, the investigation of the Westmoreland 
County Home, conducted by the Board's agents in February, 1917, 
is significant, either as it illustrates the laxity of our laws or as it 
sheds light upon the whole problem and management of our insti- 
tutions for the poor. The substance is taken from local newspaper 
accounts as reported during the time of investigation. The agents 
conducting the investigation having referred to these newspaper ac- 
counts, they may be presumed to be authoritative. 

The investigation of the following charges was conducted by two 
assistant agents of the Board of Public Charities. The accusations 
against the superintendent were that (1) "He seemed to take sides 
with the employes and tried to keep up strife among them." (2) That 
"he was simply not fit to handle the job." (3) "That immorality ex- 
isted between the superintendent and female employes and male and 
female employes of the County Home." The President of the Poor 
Board admitted that he had smelled liquor on the breath of employes 
but added that "no action other than speaking to them about it had 
been taken." 

Charges were also made that a Director of the Poor had granted 
orders for outdoor relief to three different persons, which later, it 
was claimed, went for wearing apparel for another woman in the 
case. The orders inchided items such as, silk hose, corsets, ladies' 
I'.ats, ribbons and night shirts. "The 'whiskey bills' presented, showed 
tliat nineteen and one-half gallons of the 'fire-water' were delivered 
to the County Home between January 25, 1916, and January 22, 1917." 
When the physician at the County Home was asked "what quantity 
of whiskey he prescribed for patients during the year," he replied, 
"Not over a gallon in twelve months." 

When the Director of the Poor was asked about the outdoor re- 
lief bills for personal wearing apparel, and whether he had not in- 
vestigated to see if the goods went to the right party, he replied "I 
did not think it was my business to investigate." 

The duties of the superintendent were defined by the Directors of 
the Poor, at the hearing, as "his duty to superintend the building." 

The climax of this investigation is reported as follows in the 
Greensburg Morning Review of February 27, 1917: "Resumption of 
the hearing yesterday morning brought a storm of debate and heated 
argument between H. H. Fisher, attorney for R. D. Wolflf, (member of 
the Poor Board) M. N. McGeary, attorney for the Poor Board and Mr. 
Theurer and Mr. Gill, the agents, when Mr. Gill resumed examination 
of Mr. Wolflf, who was on the witness stand when the hearing ad- 
journed Friday evening. Mr. Gill started the argument by inquiring 
of Mr. Wolflf: 

"Did you make any inquiry into the copies of vouchers handed yoii 
Friday?" 



41 

"Mr. Fisher was on his feet at once and made the following state- 
ment in which he questioned the authority of the assistant agents 
to conduct the investigation. 

"This witness has been advised by his counsel to refuse to answer 
this question for the following reasons : 

"First — This investigation or so called investigation is not being 
conducted by the Board of Commissioners of Public Charities or a 
majority of said Board, but is being conducted by Wm. G. Theurer 
and S. E. Gill, Assistant General Agents who have no legal authority 
to conduct this, investigation. In this connection counsel for wit- 
ness and other parties in interest now move the Board of Commis- 
sioners of Public Charities to eliminate and strike from the record 
all of the testimony or so-called testimony, which has been taken be- 
fore and by the said Assistant General Agents. 

"Second — Under the provisions of both the Federal and State Con- 
stitution this witness cannot be compelled to give evidence against 
himself. 

"Third — The proceedings heretofore taken and now proposed to be 
taken in this matter by the said Assistant General Agents are irregu- 
lar, illegal and void, inasmuch as they have been taken, and are now 
proposed to be taken before the Assistant General Agents aforesaid 
who have no authority or jurisdiction under any law of this Common- 
wealth to conduct such an investigation. 

"Mr. Gill refused to recognize counsel and read to Mr. Wolff part of 
the law which he said gave the agents power to conduct the investi- 
gation. Mr. Fisher and Mr. McGeary argued the matter with the 
two agents. Mr. Wolff upon advice of counsel refused to answer the 
questions when asked by Mr. Gill. The agents then, apparently, 
dropped the matter and requested Mr. Wolff's minute book. They 
asked him about certain minutes of a meeting of January 26, 1916. 
Mr. Fisher again interrupted and advised Mr. Wolff not to answer. 
The agent again explained to Mr. Fisher and Mr. McGeary that the 
hearing was not a court trial and therefore counsel would not be 
recognized. Both refused to waive 'their rights' and when asked 
to leave the room refused to do so. Mr. Theurer called Dan Dun- 
mire, a local detective, who had been guarding the door during the 
hearing to eject the attorney. Mr. Fisher warned the agents and 
detective that if hands were laid on him that he would construe it as 
'assault and battery.' After more arguments on both sides, Mr. Gill 
interrupted with a question to Wolff as to whether he declined to 
answer all questions. Mr. Wolff said that upon the advise of counsel 
he did. Mr. Gill said 'You are excused.' As Mr. Wolff started to 
leave Mr. Fisher also arose and stated that 'since my client is ex- 
cused in courtesy I will leave.' Mr. McGeary who stated that he 
represented many of the witnesses was going to remain in the room, 



42 

but he was excused by the agents and went out. Neither Mr. Fisher 
nor Mr. McGeary again appeared in the room during the hearing of 
the witnesses. 

"Mr. Gill stated to a Review reporter that he thought no further 
action would be taken by the agents to compel Mr. Wolff to appear 
before the commission. 'He refused to answer questions,' said Mr. 
Gill 'and this we will report to the Board of Public Charities.' " 

The Board of Public Charities having made public no report since 
that time, it is not known what actions were taken in this matter. 

GENERAL CONDITIONS OF COUNTY POORHOUSES. 

It is to be greatly regretted that the Commission was unable, in 
tlie short time at its disposal, to make personal visits to the different 
almshouses and learn more about the general qualifications and com- 
petence of the stewards and superintendents of these institutions. 
The tasks of these heads are not light. As one expressed it "These 
positions do not pay much for a person M^ho must be a farmer, doctor, 
book-keeper and almost any other occupation known to mankind." 
It was impossible to secure complete information as to the conditions, 
or to assimilate the spirit prevailing in these homes, where many, 
"whose spirits having oozed out from their bodies under the foot of 
life," are compelled to spend the rest of their lives. It is hardly 
necessary to point out that it is of paramount importance to know 
not only how the tax-payers' money is spent, but it is equally essential 
to know accurately of the treatment accorded, the food furnished, the 
medical care and sanitation established, the conditions of the build- 
ings, the degree of congestion, the recreational or occupational facili- 
ties afforded, the character of the inmates and the general environ- 
ment of the homes. 

The heads of the county almshouses, are as a rule, political ap- 
pointees. The great majority of them have had no experience of this 
nature, previous to their appointments. There can be no question 
that many of them have been successful farmers. But knowledge of 
the proper care of a farm is hardly sufficient to qualify one also to 
take care of and promote the general welfare of those entrusted to 
them and who look to them for some measure of happiness. Many 
of the men connected with the management of the almshouses are 
prejudiced and often without the rudiments of an education. Where 
the superintendents are highly educated men, and trained — of whom 
there are only a few— they are as a rule powerless, and have no au- 
thority to make improvements without the consent of the poor board 
01' the county commissioners. 

The three or four institutions visited by the Commission's agents, 
were found to be kept in exceedingly good condition. But those 
visited cannot be taken as truly representing the general conditions 



43 

of most of the almshouses in the State. It is, of course, inevitable 
that where old persons congregate — many of whom suffer from foul 
smelling disordeis — there should always i>revail a very noticeable bad 
odor. In the few institutions investigated, the buildings were kept 
clean, with more light and air in each room, than is usually found in 
middle-class city homes. The inmates looked neatly dressed. The 
bedrooms were neatly arranged and well ventilated, wliiJe the bed 
covers were uniformly clean. These were kept so by the inmates 
themselves. The inmates were given three meals a day. The big meal 
usually consisting of one dish made up of a medley of edible foods, 
bread and coffee, with an additional vegetable on occasions. The dis- 
cipline was of such character as is only essential in institutions. But 
even in these progressive institutions there was no genuine homelike 
spirit. Most of the inmates looked sullen and wore a depressed and 
downcast mien. Practically all were eager to get out of the place. 
Even in the best equipped institutions there were no recreational 
facilities provided for these inmates. Except for a pack of cards, 
a game of checkers and a few old magazines, there was nothing these 
aged could do to keep their minds occupied and to prevent their 
nursing of grievances and discontent. This feeling of depression is 
augmented by the fact that in most homes no attempt is made to 
segregate the old people, — who have been compelled to go to the 
almshouse through no fault of their own, — from the feeble-minded, 
and in some cases even the partially insane. In many places they 
are compelled to eat at the same tables and sleep in the same dormi- 
tories with the latter groups. The inmates in most almshouses are a 
very heterogeneous collection. They comprise insane, feeble-minded 
persons and epileptics ; blind and deaf mutes ; sufferers from chronic 
diseases, persons with criminal records; prostitutes; mothers of 
illegitimate children, orphans, and deserted children. 

"Many of the poorhouse inmates," writes a very intelligent miner 
from western Pennsylvania, "physically broken, spiritually crushed, 
and in some instances mentally wrecked, poorly paid mechanics in 
their day, would have been heartened could they have foreseen the 
beacon of a pension on retirement, and it would have been an inspi- 
ration to save, if only a little from their meagre wages." 

It is, of course, natural that the average citizen when the question 
of a state wide pension system is suggested should inquire as to how 
much more in taxes it will mean for him. It is astonishing, however, 
to find that the same citizen never takes the time to inquire either as 
to how much he is spending on the poor at the present time, or as to 
the quality of services rendered for the expenditures. Certainly, no 
private business man would permit his money to be spent without an 
accurate account of all the expenditures made; and no efflcient busi- 
ness man would continue to contribute money without ever inquiring 



into the results and the efficiency of the business, and whether more 
efficient methods might not be introduced which would reduce the 
present cost. What is so obviously plain to the business man is as 
yet, apparently, a sealed book to the taxpayers in this State. 

It was seen from the law creating the Board of Public Charities 
that it is the only State body having jurisdiction over the almshouses. 
It has the right to compell "all persons having charge or oversight 
over the poor in any city or county of this State, or in any subdivision 
thereof to make an annual report at such time, upon such form 
and in such manner, of such facts and statements as they may pre- 
scribe and require." This would appear to give the Board of Public 
Charities ample power to secure the most accurate accounts of all the 
incomes and expenditures made by the Directors of the Poor and 
stewards, and superintendents of the different almshouses. This, 
however, is far from being the case. One looks in vain for such 
detailed accounts. Not only is there no uniform system of account- 
ing and bookkeeping for all the different poor boards' and superin- 
tendents' records — which has been a universal practice in all our 
neighboring States for many years — but even the computations of 
ccsts are made in haphazard fashion, in accordance with the desires 
and best interests of the individuals responsible for the expenditures. 

As is expressed by the Secretary of one Poor Board, "We are, of 
course, interested in presenting as low a rate as possible to the tax- 
payers." Accordingly, each poor board fixes and computes its per 
capita cost per day or per week, which it submits to the Board of 
Public Charities, so as to meet its own needs and interests. Because 
of this, it is found that in determining the total amount of the alms- 
house expense, some will include also the expenditures made upon 
"buildings and improvements" and "other extraordinary expenses." 
Others will not figure this at all in the total costs ; while still others 
will deduct from the total expenses, the income received from those 
inmates, who having some means, are made to pay for their keep. 
Some few consider the value of the farm products in the total ex- 
penses but the great majority do not. 



45 



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48 

The foregoing table shows the main expenditures of the various 
almshouses as given in the 1916 Annual Report of the Board of Public 
Charities. It includes the total number of inmates, the total alms- 
house expense, the average weekly cost per capita, the money spent 
on outdoof relief and the aggregate expenditures of the poor dis- 
tricts. It will be seen that the costs per week as given in thia report 
vary from forty-nine cents per capita per week in one county, to 
$6.51 per week in another. When an attempt is made to check up 
the given weekly costs, by dividing the submitted total almshouse ex- 
pense by the given number of inmates, the results cannot be made to 
agree. Following this method of computation, the weekly per capita 
costs were found by the Commission, to run as high at |9, ,|12, and 
almost $15 per week in a few cases. This is not only true of the 
figures as given in the 1916 report, but the submitted figures in the 
1915 report, do not balance similarly. The Commission does not 
question the integrity of the given figures. It wishes, however, to 
point out the confusion and chaos encountered when any intelligent 
point of information is desired to be ascertained. The figures submit- 
ted, no doubt, are based upon actual facts, but they are computed in 
helter-skelter fashion as suited best the individuals who made out 
these reports. No attempt was made by the Board of Public Char- 
ities to ascertain or explain these multifarious methods of computa- 
tion; and the reports were published as they were submitted. It is 
surprising, that although these reports have been before the public 
for a number of years, no one in the State, as far as the Commission 
is aware, either challenged or discovered these so obviously misin- 
formed facts. 

To obtain its data, the Board of Public Charities submits the fol- 
lowing form to the different almshouses. This is filled out and re- 
turned to the Board, from which in turn, the latter makes out its 
report. 

ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT. 



• • • Almshouse, County. 

ALMSHOUSE EXPENSES. 

Salaries, wages, and labor (including medical attention), 

Provisions and supplies, 

Fuel and light, 

Clothing (including shoes) , 

Furniture and bedding and other dry goods, 

Medicine and medical supplies, 

Ordinary repairs, 

Traveling expenses, 



49 

Farm expenses, 

Incidental expenses, 

Total current expenses, 

Building and improvements, 

Other extraordinary expenses, 

Total almshouse expenses, 

OUTSIDE expenses; 

Outdoor relief, 

Insane in State or other hospitals, 

Children in homes and private families, 

Feeble-minded in training schools, 

Support of poor in other institutions, 

Other outside expenses, 

Aggregate expenditures, 

Eeceipts other than from taxes, 

Receipts from taxes, 

Total receipts, 

Average daily number supported during year, 

Average cost per day for maintaining dependents, 

LIABILITIES. 

Salaries unpaid, 

Miscellaneous bills unpaid, (estimate), 

Other indebtedness, 

Total liabilities, 

•Number of day's support given inmates, including vagrants during 
year, 

I hereby certify that the above report is correct. 

Name 

OfiSce, 

PO., 

County, 

*To obtain this information get the sum of the number of days in 
which all the inmates were supported. For instance, if there were 
3 prisoners, 1 supported during the entire year, or 365 days, 1 for 
three months, or 91 days, and 1 for one week, or 7 days, the total 
would be the sum of 365, 91 and 7, or 463 days. 

In examining the returned reports, for the year 1917, the Commis- 
sion found it so perplexing that it could make little progress. Only 
twenty-six of the seventy-three reports submitted for the year 1917 
could in any way be made to check. When further inquiry was made 
of a number of superintendents as to their methods of computation, 



50 

ouly about 50 per cent, responded. Of all the replies received, each 
one Iiad his own method showing how the per capita cost per week 
was obtained. One steward after explaining his method of compu- 
tation added: "You will note that on the form furnished, by the 
lioard of Public Charities, there is no space for setting said items 
apart to show intelligently what the real indoor county home ex- 
penses were, hence this confusion." 

One of the reports submitted to the Board of Public Charities 
states : "On or about November the 3rd, 1917, J. K. S. who has been 
Overseer of our Poor District for many years past, died very sud- 
denly. His successor, J. K., has not been able to find any record 
showing what expenditures made by J. K. S. were for almshouse and 
what for outside relief. J. K. S. had charge of all almshouse ex- 
penditures so that at the present time, it is absolutely impossible to 
determine accurately how his total expenditures should be divided 
between almshouse and outside relief. It. is an absolute impossi- 
bility to accurately divide the expenditures between these two ac- 
counts." This was signed by the new Overseer of the Poor. 

Table No. 19 is the result of the Commission's attempt to classify, 
from the submitted reports for the year 1917, the incurred expendi- 
tures according to the amounts spent directly on the maintenance of 
the inmates ; that expended on salaries, wages and general overhead 
expenses ; the money laid out on additional supplies and building im- 
provements, and for farm expenses. 



51 



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57 

Under "direct maintenance" are included the following items as 
listed on the returned form: (1) provisions and supplies, (2) fuel 
and light, (3) clothing, (4) medicine and medical supplies, and (5) 
ordinary repairs. The "overhead and sundry" column contains the 
items of (1) salaries, wages and labor, (2) traveling expenses, (3) 
incidental expenses, and (4) other extraordinary expenses. Under 
"supplies and additional expenses" are included, (1) furniture and 
bedding and other dry goods, (2) repairs and (3) building and im- 
provements. The "grand total" is made up of all the preceding 
totals. The "average cost per day" was obtained by dividing the 
grand total almshouse expense by the total number of days support 
given. This was found to balance with the given per capita cost of 
nineteen institutions. A few more were made to check when the 
item of "building and improvements" was deducted from the grand 
total of almshouse expenses ; a number of others were made to agree 
by deducting the item of "other extraordinary expenses." Two more 
were made to balance after inquiry, by deducting from the total ex- 
penditures, the receipts of the county home. The rest could nor 
be made to balance either through any of the above methods or 
through further inquiry. The per capita costs are, therefore, pre- 
sented as they are given in the reports and as they were found by 
the process of simple division. 

The average cost per inmate per week for all almshouses, as found 
by dividing the total sum expended on almshouses by the total num- 
ber of inmates in those institutions, is $5.87 per week or $25.14 per 
month. In 1916, according to the report of the Board of Public 
Charities, the average per capita cost, when computed in a similar 
way, was |5.09 per week or $21.81 per month. It must be added that 
the expenditures made during the year on buildings and improve- 
ments, and the interest on permanent investments, are not included 
in most cases. It is impossible to ascertain the value of the differ- 
ent institutions at the present time. It is a well known fact, how- 
ever, that many of the larger institutions are worth millions of dol- 
liirs. It is not unusual to find many county almshouses occupying 
farms of several hundred acres and building properties worth several 
hundred thousand dollars. In the few institutions where big ex- 
penditures were made on buildings and improvements during the 
year 1917, five per cent, added for interest and depreciation increases 
considerably the per capita cost. Thus in the case of the Philadel- 
phia almshouse, 5 per cent, interest on the last year's investment on 
building and improvements amounts to over $46,000 per year. In 
the case of the Washington County Home, the per capita cost per 
month is raised from $16.53 to $18.36 per month. But this, as w.ns 
said before, does still not include the interest and the depreciation 
on the permanent investments. 



58 

Attention must be called also, to the large item of farm expenses 
submitted by mauj' institutions. As far as can be ascertained from 
the reports submitted to the Board of Public Charities, few of these 
institutions consider the value of the farm products consumed as 
an item in their total expenditures. All report the amount of money 
expended on the farm, but one looks in vain for a statement of the 
returns of the farm or the value of the farm products consumed. 
The latter, are to all appearances, not figured in the total cost of 
maintenance in most almshouses. It has already been pointed out 
that many counties have farms of several hundred acres connected 
with their poorhouses. Some of these produce enough vegetables 
and meat to enable them, not only to maintain the institution for 
the year, but indeed to have a surplus for the market. * 

In view of this, an examination of the last table is exceedingly 
interesting. It shows that in spite of this fact, the small per capita 
costs given are not always from those places that spend most on 
their farms or those having the largest farms. In a number of cases, 
where quite large expenditures were made on the farm, the per capita 
cost per inmate amounted to even higher than that of a number of 
others who had no farms at all. It must, therefore, be kept in mind 
tliat the average per capita cost per month of |25.14 does not. in most 
C!ises, include the value of the products consumed from the almshouse 
furni. To discover exactly how much it actually costs a county to 
siip]>ort each inmate in an almshouse, would only be possible after a 
system of evaluation of all farm products consumed, was established. 
It may be safely assumed that ^\hen these are added to the present 
]<er capita cost the latter will be decidedly increased. 

The great variety in the per capita costs by the different institu- 
tions is also noteworthy. It varies from 56 cents per week to |10.1o 
per week in the given statements and from $1.95 to |16.14 per week 
as found by the process stated above. It would, of course, be of 
value to study minutely and individually the causes for these differ- 
ences. It will be observed, however, that' the smaller items are 
usually given by institutions having the largest number of inmates, 
while the smaller institutions give the largest per capita cost. An 
illustration of the odd divisions of our poor districts is apparent 
from a glance at the column of the average daily number supported. 
While the Philadelphia Almshouse has a total of 6,611 inmates and 
the Pittsburgh City Home nearly 2,000 inmates, there are 9 institu- 
tions in the State containing between 10 and 20 inmates and 7 having 
less than 10 inmates. Thus one county with 11 inmates spends 
■16,655.60 or $605.05 per year per inmate; while another County Home 
with three inmates spends a grand total of |2.57(7.55 or $856.85 per in- 
mate per year. One almshouse is maintained solely for one in- 



*According to Dr. C. R. McKinniss, Superintendent of the Pittsburgh City Home, tlie outnut 
of the farm operated by the Home, amounted to ,$67,641.56 in 1917. 



59 

mate and while the direct cost on him to the county was |110.26, there 
was spent $240.25 or $2.17 per dollar, to deliver this money to the 
inmate. 

The tremendous total expenditures that go to keep up the institu- 
tions and that spent directly on the inmates is again noticeable. The 
percentage of "overhead expense" to that spent on "direct mainte- 
nance" runs in the majority of cases to 100 per cent. ; in a number of 
instances it amounts to from 100 to 400 per cent., while in at least one 
case it exceeds 4,000 per cent. Not only are the "overhead and sun- 
dry" items large when compared with the amounts spent on the direct 
wants of the inmates, but even when compared with the grand total 
of expenses of the almshouses, they amount in most cases to from 4-0 
to 50 per cent. 

In 1916, 14,449,108.20 was spent for maintaining 16,754 inmates. 
This total increased to |5,114,307.15 which was spent in 1917 on 16,710 
inmates. Thus, while the latter year had 38 less inmates, the cost in- 
creased 1665,198.95. This is, doubtless, the result of the increased 
prices in the latter year. The average yearly cost per capita for 1917 
was $301.68. This, as was pointed out before, does not include the 
value of the farm products consumed from the almshouse farms in 
the majority of institutions. 

OUTDOOR RELIEF. 

Besides the caring for the indigent in the county almshouse, the 
poor boards of the various poor districts dispense also what is 
known as "outdoor relief." This is given to persons whose physi- 
cal condition does not permit their removal to the county homes; or 
to women with dependent children, temporarily in need, who are 
able to care for themselves or who have somebody to care for them, 
in their own homes. The advantages of this form of relief consist 
in the facts that in the majority of cases it is less expensive to main- 
tain a person outside than inside the county home. The amounts 
given vary, of course, with the particular case and the particular 
board dispensing it. Generally, however, the sums given are not 
large. Another advantage of this form of relief, as opposed to the 
indoor relief, is the fact that it preserves all the home ties and asso- 
ciations and does not separate the aged from the ones most dear to 
them. 

In 1916, according to the report of the Board of Public Charities, 
.'S!597,477.8r) was spent on outdoor relief in the State. 

In 1917 this increased to $628,896.86. The usual methods of dis- 
pensing these funds are through the county poor directors them- 
selves or through a clerk appointed by them. In only rare cases is 
this relief given in cash. Ordinarily, an order for groceries or 
merchandise is given to merchants extending credit to the poor direc- 



60 

tors. It is seldom that the county poor directoi's, county com- 
missioners or other poor authorities have any definite knowledge or 
understanding of the problems of poor relief. These bodies are 
generally elected or appointed because of their political leadership in 
their respective communities. The policies of rendering relief to the, 
poor are very often shaped in accordance with the political fluctu 
ations and whims of the particular localities. Few make provis- 
ions for careful investigation as to the extent and need of assistance 
or for supervision of those who receive relief. The clerk of one 
County Poor Board, who dispensed more than |10,000 worth of goods 
in one year, frankly admitted that he had no experience in this work. 
He was a machinist by trade, and confessed he knew nothing of this 
problem. He said that he rarely investigated a case but that he knew 
he was supposed to "relieve the needs of the poor," and further- 
more, that he always gave to those who applied for assistance. He 
agreed that there ought to be a better method of conducting this poor 
relief system, but that he held his job because of his political in- 
fluence and that "it was much worse with the Democratic clerk who 
preceded him in this ofiSce." 

Because of the limitation of time, the Commission was unable to 
make a more minute study of the outdoor relief expenses. That 
some people are in need of relief and are entitled to it is self evident. 
It is also, obviously much better to expend some money on temporary 
relief in the homes rather than to compel people to break up family- 
ties of many years. Indiscriminate charity, however, is not only a 
criminal waste of the taxpayers' money, but is also detrimental to 
the individuals receiving it, as it only pauperizes them, and dooms 
them to further pauperization and charity. 

As the great majority of the recipients of outdoor relief are aged 
persons, it would seem that some form of a pension system would 
probably best meet this problem. These people, admittedly, have a 
home and some one to take care of them. A pension would never be 
given indiscriminately. It would hardly amount to more than the 
average amounts given at present. It would reduce the overhead ex- 
penses to a minimum and last but not least, it would not pauperize 
the aged persons, but would be given to them, as society's reward for 
the useful and faithful services rendered by them during their earlior 
years. 

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY HOME INVESTIGATION. 

On the second of January, 1919, the Controller of Northampton 
County held a hearing to investigate the charges made, — that the 
inmates of the Northampton County Almshouse were fed with dis- 
eased meat. It was claimed that the Directors of the Poor pur- 
chased a bull, which soon after arriving at the county farm became 



61 

sick. It was then claimed that the Treasurer of the Directors of 
the Poor, upon learning of the disease of the bull, ordered it to be 
slaughtered. This was done the following morning, and the meat 
served to the inmates. This charge was later proved to be ground- 
less. What was of greater significance, however, was the fact that 
at this hearing it was testified by all witnesses that while the county 
home operated a farm of nearly 400 acres, no books and not a 
single record was kept showing the disposition of any of the farm 
products. The first and second farmers testifying,— -although 
connected with the farm for a number of years — claimed they had 
no idea as to the size of the farm, the number of acres of each grain, 
or the quantities produced during any harvest. They stated they 
never made any report to anyone as to the number of bushels they 
harvested of any grain, nor had they ever seen any record in which 
such information was kept. For the year 1917, they stated that the 
crops were very good and estimated that there were between 40 to 50 
acres of corn ; 90 to 100 acres of wheat, and about 40 and 50 acres of 
oats, harvested. Besides, there were produced a great amount of 
potatoes, sweet corn, cabbages, beans and other vegetables. They 
admitted that it was their duty to take care of the cattle at the 
farm, but claimed not to know the exact number of cows, hogs, 
calves, chickens, or other farm stock. These farmers stated that the 
products were consumed at the home. The wheat, they testified, 
was consumed in the bakery and in feeding the cattle. The usual 
process was to take a load of wheat to the miller and in return get 
a load of flour. Except a receipt from the miller indicating this 
exchange, no record was kept showing the exact number of bushels, 
or the weight of either. The Treasurer of the Poor Directors testi- 
fied on the witness stand, that all bills charged to the Poor Board 
had to be approved, first by the Poor Board at its monthly meeting, 
and then by the County Controller, who upon approval would issue 
a warrant to the County Treasurer. In a number of cases, however, 
he claimed that he had paid bills in cash and secured the approval 
(>f the Board and County Controller afterwards. The steward also, 
v.ould, at times, pay bills in cash and be reimbursed later by the 
Board. 

DETAILED BUDGET STUDY OF BERKS COUNTY 
ALMSHOUSE. 

It was beyond the Commission's resources to attempt complete 
budget studies of county almshouses with regard to the farm products 
I)rodiiced, consumed in the institutions, and that sold outside. Such 
studies would, of course, be invaluable as shedding light upon the 
efficiency of the management of the institution, and the actual cost 
per inmate. The Commission has succeeded, however, in making such 
a complete study in at least one institution, the findings of which 
are submitteS herewith: 



62 

In the 1917 Financial Report of Berlis County, published by the 
County Controller, it is stated that the Berlcs County almshouse 
is located "three miles southwest of Reading, Pa. The farm con- 
sists of 514 acres. Thirty-five acres of this is in meadow land, 4 
acres in truck, 100 acres in woodland. The balance is under culti- 
vation for general farming. 

Value of Farm, |200,000 

Value of buildings, 250,000 

''The daily average of inmates supported in the institution for the 
year 1917 was 313. The total almshouse expense for the year was 
150,555.19. The average weekly per capita cost is given as |3.50.* 
The Report also states that "In computing the average weekly cost 
per capita, every item of expense that enters into the- maintenance 
of the inmates is included, food, clothing, bedding and furnishings, 
medical services, drugs, light and heat, salaries of officials and at- 
tendants, tobacco and postage stamps." 

The Report then gives the following farm and dairy products: 

FAR3I CROPS. 

"The farm crops were exceptionally good all through, the soil 
responding bountifully to the efforts of cultivation. The corn yielded 
what is generally termed a 'bumper crop.' The amount of each 
crop follows : Hay, 130 tons ; wheat, 2,000 bushels ; oats, 2,100 bush- 
els; corn, 3,600 bushels (shelled); potatoes, 1,600 bushels; rye, 177 
bushels." 

TRUCE. 

"The truck garden produced the following: Parsnips, 20 bushels; 
peas, 14 bushels; tomatoes, 71 bushels; cucumbers, 798 dozens; 
radishes, 11 bushels ; beans, 76 bushels ; lettuce, 28 bushels ; cabbage, 
4,213 heads; celery, 2,275 stalks; endive, 300 stalks; onions, 53 
bushels; carrots, 19 bushels; gooseberries, 5 bushels; grapes, 35 
bushels; strawberries, 115 boxes; turnips, 6 bushels; potatoes, 14 
bushels; peppers, 6 bushels; lima beans, 5 bushels; eggplants, 123; 
redbeets, 36 bushels; currants, 150 quarts; pumpkins, 135; SAveet 
corn, 3,865 ears; sauerkraut, 30 barrels; pears, 22 bushels." 

THE DAIRY. 
"The dairy consists of 36 cows, and produced as follows: 64,860 
quarts or 16,21.") gallons of milk. A proportionate amount of this 
milk is used fresh daily for the different hospital waids and also for 
cooking and baking purposes. The balance is turned into butter, 
of which 4,270 pounds was produced, and oil con.sumed at the institu- 
tion in its various departments." 

*It Is interesting to note that on Table No. 19 the weekly per capita cost is given as $3.94, 
while diTlding the total almshouse expense by the average number of Inmates |rlves only $3.09 as 



63 

BUTCHER SHOP. 

"Slaughtered 85 head of cattle, which yielded 54,594 pounds of 
beef, 2,964 pounds of tallow and 7,342 pounds of hides. Killed 16 
calves, produced 1,285 pounds of veal. Killed 58 head of pigs, which 
netted 12,073 pounds pork and 1,710 pounds lard. The total amount 
of meat produced of all kinds was 67,952 pounds. These meats were 
all used at the institution. 

"Boiled 432 barrels of soft soap and 2,180 pounds hard soap." 

THE BAKERY. 
"There were baked and consumed during the y«ar 86,328 pounds 
or over 43 tons of bread. This product is baked fresh daily in two- 
pound loaves and amounted to a total of 43,104 such loaves." 

POULTRY. 
"The hennery consists of 525 barnyard fowls and produced 1,412 
dozen eggs for the season." 

LIVE STOCK. 

"The live stock of the farm at present consists of 14 head of mules, 
1 horse, 36 dairy cows, 2 stock bulls, 36 steers, 156 pigs of all sizes, 
7 heifers and 525 chickens." 

It Avill be observed that of the 4,270 pounds of butter produced 
and of the total of 67,952 pounds of meat of all kinds produced, the 
report states that these were "all consumed at the institution." 

With this in mind it is very significant to note that in the steward's 
report to the County Commissioners, which was examined by the 
Commission, it is reported that the total amount of beef (of all 
kinds) consumed was 55,469 pounds, leaving 12,483 pounds of 
beef unaccounted for; 86,328 pounds of bread was baked, but the 
steward's report states that only 80,288 pounds were consumed, 
leaving 6,040 pounds unaccounted for. Of the 1,412 dozens of eggs 
produced, only 1,313 are accounted for by the steward ; 4,270 pounds 
of butter was produced according to the County Commissioners' 
Keport. The steward's report shows that only 3,327 pounds was 
consumed, leaving 943 pounds not accounted for. 

The following table also is interesting as it throws light upon 
another phase of institutional management in a ninnber of county 
poorhouses. The number of inmates, it will be noticed, was almost 
ten tiroes the number at the steward's table. 



64 



TABLE NUMBER 20. 



Kind and Amount of Food Consumed at Berks County Home 
Betiveen January 1, and December SO, 1917. 



Kind ol Pood. 



On inmateB' 
table 
ol 318. 



Amount 

per 
person. 



Stewards' 
table 
of 32. 



AmouDt 

DOT 

person. 



Apricots, lbs., 

Beans, lbs., 

Beel, lbs. (aU kinds), 

Bread, lbs., 

Butter, lbs.. 

Cbeese, lbs.. 

Chicken, lbs.. 

Chocolate, lbs., 

Cocoa, lbs., 

Coffee, lbs., 



Essence of coffee, lbs.. 

Corn flakes, lbs., 

Corn starch, lbs., 

Cream of wheat, lbs., .. 

Doughnuts, 

Eggs, doz., 

Farine, lbs., 

Fish, lbs., 

Flour, lbs., 

Fruit pudding, lbs., 

Jelly, gal., 

Lard, lbs., 



48 
18 

106 
!,704 

690 

72 

78 

92 

,200 

774 



Liver pudding, lbs., 

Milk, qts., 

Molasses, qts., i 

Mother's Oats, lbs., 

Oat meal, lbs., 

Onions, pks., 

Peaches, lbs., 

Pepper, lbs. 



Pork, lbs. (all kinds). 

Peas, lbs., 

Prunes, lbs., 

Potatoes, bus. , 

Rice, lbs., 

Raisins, lbs., 

Sugar, lbs., 

Shredded wheat, 

Salt, lbs., 

Tapioca, lbs., 

Tea, lbs., 

Vinegar, gal. , 

Veal, lbs., 



034 



127 

720 



2.9 



132 
250 
7.5 



.15 



8.7 
2.2 

.23 

.25 

.29 
3.8 
2.4 

.22 
3.78 
7 

.03E 

.6 
1.7 

.039 
23 
4.8 

.Oi 

.6 

.035 
43 

.096 
26.5 
7.9 
l.S 
2.7 
6.8 



8,736 

2,100 

934 

633 

309 


117 
66.5 
80.75 
19.8 
10 


75 
534 


2.8 
16.7 


















539 

138 
2,121 


16.7 

4.8 
66.2 


495 
35 


15.6 
1.2 



22.4 
.09 

6.2 
.013 

1.1 
.42 

2.3 



91 

8 

•791 

209 

165 

180 

16 

16 

1,236 



2.0S 

.26 

21.6 

6.6 

6.1 

6.7 

.48 

.6 

32.6 



S5 



1.8 



446 



14.6 



The above table is illuminating from the standpoint of the quality 
and quantity of the food consumed on the respective tables of the 
inmates and stewards. It is shown throughout that the coarser 
foods are consumed by the inmates, while the better kinds, are used 
by the stewards. This is significant when it is remembered that 
many of the aged folk are continuously sick and need more of the 
better foodstuffs. 

In an attempt to arrive at the actual per capita cost per inmate, 
the Commission secured an estimate of the prices prevailing, during 
the year 1917, on the following articles consumed in the almshouse. 
These prices are estimates made by reputable produce merchants 
located in the vicinity of the almshouse and represent the lowest 
prices of the articles during that year. The amount and value of 
each product is given below: 



•Sausage. 



65 

l«»"s 76 bushels $1.00 per $ 76.00 

Bread, 86,328 pounds .04 per 3,453.12 

S*?!' 54,594 pounds .22 per 12,010.68 

^u™'"! 4,270 pounds .40 per 1,708.00 

Cucumbers 798 dozen .10 per 79.80 

f^Biibage, 4,213 heads .2i per 105.33 

Celery 2,275 stalks .03 per 68.25 

Carrots 19 bushels .50 per 9.50 

Currants 150 quarts .10 per 15.00 

Eii^^e, 300 stalks .03 per 9.00 

Eggplants ^ 123 plants .03 per 3.69 

Eggs, 1,412 dozen .35 per 494.20 

Gooseberries 5 bushels 1.50 per 7.50 

Grapes, 35 bushels 1.00 per 35.00 

Hides 7,342 pounds .20 per 1,468.40 

Hard soap 2,180 pounds .08 per 174.40 

-Lettuce, 28 bushels 1.00 per 28.00 

Lima beans, 5 bushels 9.00 per 45.00 

Lard 1,710 pounds .28 per 478.80 

Onions 53 bushels 1.50 per 79.50 

Potatoes, 1,600 bushels 1.50 per 2,400.00 

Parsnips, 20 bushels .75 per 15.00 

Peppers, 6 bushels 1.00 per 6.00 

Pumpkins 135 .05 per 6.35 

Pears 22 bushels 1.00 per 22.00 

Poi'k 12,073 pounds .18 per 2,173.14 

Peas, 14 bushels 1.00 per 14.00 

Rye., 177 bushels 1.50 per 264.50 

Radishes, / 11 bushels 1.00 per 11.00 

Redbeets, 36 bushels 1.00 per 36.00 

Soft soap 432 barrels 1.50 per 648.00 

Strawberries, 115 boxes .10 per 11.50 

Sauerkraut 30 barrels 13.00 per 390.00 

Sweet corn, 3,865 ears .25 doz. 80.50 

Tomatoes, 74 bushels 1.00 per 74.00 

Turnips, 6 bushels .75 per 4.50 

Tallow 2,964 pounds .15 per 444.60 

Veal 1,285 pounds .18 per 231.30 

Wheat 2,000 bushels 2.20 per 4,400.00 

Total value of products $31,581.56* 

The articles sold and amounts received according to the County 
Commissioners' Eeport were as follows: Wheat, $4,133.68; corn fod- 
der, 110.00; hides, |1,549.09; tallow, |3o4.71; corn, |24.52; hay, 
$10.00; oats, |94.27; potatoes, |883.00; miscellaneous receipts, 
$222.51. The total receipts from farm products amounted to 
17,049.27, leaving the value of consumed products to $24,532.29. 

Five per cent, for interest and depreciation on the permanent 
investment of $450,000 gives $22,500. Adding the grand total of 
$50,555.49 total almshouse expense as given in the Commissioners" 
Eeport to the total of $24,532.29 tor consumed products, together 
v/ith' the $22,500 on interest and depreciation, the grand total 
almshouse expense amounts to $97,587.78. When this grand total 
is divided by the 313 inmates, the total cost per capita is raised 
from $3.50 per week, as stated by the County Commissioners, to 
$6.00 per week or nearly double the per capita cost stated in the 
Countv Commissioners' Eeport. 



•This total does not include the valne of the hay, oats and com, as these were, doubtless, con- 
sumed by the farm stock. 



66 

STUDY OF INMATES IN FEATEENAL AND BENEVOLENT 
HOMES FOE THE AGED. 

Information concerning the aged group residing in private and 
benevolent homes foV the aged, was obtained through the cordial 
co-operation of the superintendents and heads of these institutions. 
The inmates in 65 of these homes were interrogated personally, with 
reference to the desired data, from a printed card-schedule devised 
for that purpose. Tliese interviews were in practically all cases 
conducted by the heads*'o||the institutions themselves. A total of 
2,158 aged inmates were thus questioned. 

The ages of the inmates as found at the time of investigation 
follow : 

TABLE NUMBER 21. 

Ages of Institutional Inmates at Time of Investigation. 

Number 
Age. Investigated. Per Cent. 

50 to 55, 28 1.29 

55 to 60, 36 1.66 

60 to 65, 92 4.26 

65 to 70, 326 15.10 

70 to 75, 549 25.44 

75 to 85, 911 42.21 

85 to 100, 190 8.86 

Over 100, 1 .04 

Not stated, 25 1.14 



2,158 100.00 ■ 

It will be observed that only 2.95 per cent, are under 60 years of 
age in this group as compared with 27.3 per cent, in the case of 
the almshouse inmates; 19.36 per cent, are from 60 to 70 years of 
age, while 67.65 per cent, are between the ages of 70 to 85. The late 
period in life at which these inmates enter the institution is further 
borne out by the fact that only 1 per cent, were admitted before the 
age of 50 ; 5 per cent, entered the institutions at the ages of 50 to 
60; 41.8 between 60 and 70, and a similar percentage were admitted 
to these institutions after they had reached their 70th year. In the 
Massachusetts study of 1908, parallel percentages are given. One 
per cent, were admitted before the age of 50 ; 4.4 per cent, between 50 
and 60 ; 41.7 per cent, between the ages of 60 and 70, while 58.8 per 
cent, were admitted after they had passed their seventieth year. The 
strikingly higher age of entrance into the institution for this group 
when compared with the almshouse group, is significant. The lower 
percentage of those entering the institutions, over 70 years of age in 
Pennsylvania, as compared with that given in Massachusetts, is prob- 
ably again the result of the more strenuous industrial life led in our 
own State. 



istigated. 


Per Cent. 


181 


8.40 


674 


31.23 


366 


16.96 


-m 


24.46 
9.73 


105 


4.86 


50 


2.32 


44 


2.04 



67 

TABLE NUAtBER 22. 

Numl)er of Years of Residence in the Institution. 

Number 
Time in Institution. Invi 

Under 1 year, 

1 year to 3 years, 

3 years to 5 years, 

5 years to 10 years, 

10 years to 15 years, 

15 years to 20 years, / 

20 years and over, 

Not stated 

2,158 100.00 

The above table would indicate a longer span of life for the in- 
laates of private and benevolent homes for the aged, than for alms 
house paupers. Although the ages at admission are much higher 
for the former inmates, their period of stay in the institution is 
considerably longer. The percentages are for those in residence less 
than 1 year, 8.4 and 18.4 per cent, respectively. While about the 
same percentage in both groups were in the institutions from 1 to 
5 years, the percentage of those residing in the institutions 5 years 
and more was 35 per cent, in the case of almshouse inmates and 43.4 
among the inmates of the benevolent homes. Other reasons for the 
longer stay of the inmates in the latter homes, may perhaps be found 
in the facts that practically all benevolent institutions charge a con- 
siderable fee at admission. The accommodations offered by these 
homes are often more satisfactory than are those offered by the county 
poorhouses. That aged women remain longer in institutions than 
aged men has already been pointed out. 

TABLE NUMBER 23. 

Number 
Sex. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Male, 508 23.54 

Female, 1,650 76.46 

2,158 100.00 

The reverse sex preponderance in this class of inmates over that 
in the county almshouses has been alluded to once before. 

The percentages of men and women among the aged inmates of 
benevolent homes in Massachusetts in 1908 were 30.6 per cent, and 
69.4 per cent, respectively This would indicate that aged women are 



68 

more generally provided for by private charity than are aged men. 
It may also show that aged women are either more thrifty than are 
aged men or that they are more readily helped by friends. 

TABLE NUMBER 24- 

Conjugal Number 

Condition. Investigated Per Cent. 

Single, 650 30.12 

Married, 170 7.88 

Widowed, 1,258 58.30 

Divorced, 11 .50 

Not stated, 69 3.20 

2,158 100.00 

Although the percentage of single people among the inmates of 
benevolent homes is more than three times the percentage of the 
same found in the entire State population, it is considerably lower 
than the percentage of single people among almshouse paupers. The 
percentage of widowed constitutes 58.30 per cent, in this group and 
39.14 per cent, in the case of almshouse dependents. This would 
seem to indicate that widowhood constitutes a leading factor in 
institutional pauperism. This is especially the case with this group, 
consisting largely of women who are provided for, as long as their 
breadwinner lives, but wlio become dependent soon after the hus- 
band's death. The percentage of married inmates in these homes 
having their mates living, is less than one-half the per cent, of those 
ill county poorhouses. Of these 62.3 per cent, were living together 
in the same home. In the almshouse population, it will be remem- 
bered, only 9.9 per cent were residing together. The problem of the 
severing of home ties and close associations, is therefore, not so 
acute in this group. 

TABLE NUMBER 25. 

Niuuber of Children Living. 

Number of Number 

Children. Investigated Per Cent. 

None, 1,193 65.69 

1, 265 14.59 

2, 145 7.98 

3, 109 6.00 

4, 53 2.91 

5, 26 1.45 

6 13 .72 

6 and over, 12 .66 

1,816 100.00 



69 

The striking fact that 65.69 per cent, of these inmates have no 
children living — which is even 2 per cent, more than among tlie alms- 
house inmates- — is illuminating on the whole problem of aged de- 
pendency and institutional care. The percentage of inmates in 
benevolent homes in Massachusetts having no children living, was 60.6 
per cent, as against 56.3 per cent, in the case of almshouse paupers. 
Fourteen and fifty-nine hundredths per cent, of those having children 
alive have but one child ; 13.98 per cent, have two or three children, 
and only 5.74 per cent, have more than three children living. This 
further bears out the reference previously made that the dominating 
factor compelling aged persons to go to an institution — whether it 
be a county poorhouse, or a benevolent or private home for the 
aged — is the fact that having no children of their own, they muKt 
seek the institution to furnish them the care they require. Most 
children will make sacrifices in order to take care of their aged de- 
pendent parents. Few strangers or relatives, however, want to be 
burdened with the presence of an aged person, even if they are to 
be paid for their services. That there is a real need for institu- 
tional care for certain aged groups, is obvious. 

Only a fraction of 1 per cent, of the inmates interviewed still had 
small children. Of those having adult children only 5 per cent, were 
receiving contributions from them. The amounts of the contribu- 
tions in the great majority of cases were less than $3.00 per week. 
Ninety-five per cent, of those having children received no contribu- 
tions from them. This seeming neglect on the part of children may 
be attributed, not so much to their unwillingness to make such con- 
tributions, but to the fact that many of these aged inmates having 
once paid their entrance fees, were not in need of such assistance. 
Only 4 per cent, reported of having near relatives, able and willing to 
support. Ninety-six per cent, had no other friends or relatives able 
or willing to support them. The scanty family connections of insti- 
tutional inmates are thus further emphasized. 

TABLE NUMBER 26. * 

Nativity of the Inmates Investigated. 

Place of Number 

Birth. Investigated Per Cent. 

Pennsylvania, 1,114: 51-62 

United States, 298 13.89 

Foreign, 684 31.59 

Not stated, 62 2.90 

2,158 100.00 



70 

The above table shows a higher rate of native born and a lower 
per cent, of foreign born among the aged inmates of benevolent and 
private homes than is the case in the county almshouses. While 
this is to be expected, the proportion of foreign born in these insti- 
tutions is still greater than the ratio of the same group to the total 
population of the State. Of these inmates, more than half were 
born in Pennsylvania; 13.89 were born in other States, while 31.59 
per cent, were of foreign birth. 

TABLE NU3IBER 27. 

Native Country of Foreign Born Inmates. 

Number 

Country. Investigated. Per cent. 

Germany, 283 43.02 

Ireland, 161 24.50 

England, 105 15.95 

Scotland, 33 5.01 

Austria, 13 1.97 

Switzerland, 12 1.82 

Wales, 11 1.67 

Norway & Sweden, 4 .60 

France, 2 .30 

Other Nations, 7 1.06 

Not stated, 27 4.10 

658 100.00 

Approximately the reverse of the leading almshouse foreign born 
populations is the case of the foreign born populations in benevolent 
homes. In the former, Ireland leads with almost twice the number 
contributed by Germany — the second in the list. In the private 
homes for the aged, however, Germany comes first, with nearly twice 
the number contributed by Ireland. England maintains third rank 
here also, but contributes much more to this group proportionately 
tlian to the almshouse pauper group. Scotland also gives a higher 
percentage of the former inmates. Austria, — the leading country in 
the foreign born in the entire population of the State — contributes 
less than one-fourth of the number it supplies to the county poorhouse 
population. The other countries contribute but small percentages. 
The preponderance of German born residing in benevolent institu- 
tions may be accounted for by the early immigration from that 
country, and by the fact that many of the latter immigrants are 
rather thrifty and well organized along institutional, fraternal and 
beneficial lines. 

The percentage of naturalized voters among these inmates was 
found to be 75 per cent. This is 5 per cent, higher than among the 
inmates of pauper institutions and more than twice the percentage 



71 

TABLE NUMBER 28. 

Length of Residence in U. 8. and Pennsylvania. 

Years of 
Residence. In U. S. Per Cent. In Penna. Per Cent. 

5 years and under 27 3.16 

5 to 10 years 1 .2 29 3.40 

10 to 20 years, 12 2.1 64 7.47 

20 to 30 years, 30 5.2 69 8.04 

30 years and over, 529 92.5 668 77.93 

572 100.00 857 100.00 

Of the 572 foreign born inmates stating their time of residence in 
this country, only 7.5 per cent, stated that they were here less than 
30 years ; 92.5 per cent, lived in the United States for more than 30 
years. Of the foreign born, and natives from other States in the 
union, 6.56 per cent, lived in Pennsylvania less than 10 years; 15.51 
per cent, were in this State between 10 and 30 years, while 77.93 per 
cent, have been residents of this Commonwealth for more than 30 
years. The small percentage of recent immigrants in these homes 
may be explained in the same way as in the case of the poorhouse in- 
mates. 

TABLE NUMBER 29. 

Physical Condition of the Aged Inmates. 

Number 
Physical Condition. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Sound or fair health, 776 35.98 

Poor or bad health, 490 22.69 

Defective in sight or hearing, 203 9.55 

Crippled or maimed, 90 4.16 

Eheumatic, 156 7.23 

Chronic sickness, 63 2.91 

Kidney trouble, 28 1.28 

Tuberculosis, 10 .46 

Dropsy, 7 .32 

Feeble-minded, 65 3.01 

Epileptic, 12 .55 

Not stated, 258 11.86 

2,158 100.00 

The figures in the foregoing table are noteworthy. The number 
of these aged folks still in good health is remarkable. While among 
the almshouse inmates only 12.80 per cent, are reported in good or 
fair health the percentage of those in the same condition of health in 
the private and benevolent homes is 35.98 per cent. Although the 
percentage who are in good health among the "non-dependent" aged. 



studied in the house-to-house canvasses, is considerably larger than 
the percentage in this group, it must be remembered, that the ages 
represented here, are much higher than those in the "non-dependent" 
group. Only 3 per cent, we're between 50 and 60 years of age in the 
former, while 48.39 per cent, were in the same comparatively young 
age period in the latter group. 

Of those reported in poor health, it will be noticed that 22.69 per 
cent, were in bad health generally. The same percentage as in the 
almshouse group, were defective in sight or hearing. The per- 
centage of feeble-minded in these institutions is only about one-third 
the percentage in public institutions for the aged. Similar percent- 
ages in both groiips are found to be suffering from rheumatism, 
epilepsy, dropsy, etc. 

The percentage of able-bodied in this group is reported as 16.3 per 
cent., which is more than three times the per cent, of those in alms- 
houses ; 63 per cent, are reported as partially disabled, and 20.6 per 
cent, as totally disabled. In the almshouse population the percent- 
age of aged inmates totally disabled constitutes 55 per cent, of the 
inmates investigated. 

'I ABLE NUMBER 30. 

Causes of DisaMlity. 

Number 
Cause. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Old age, 549 47.65 

Sickness, 417 36.21 

Accident, 107 9.30 

Feeble-minded, 29 2.51 

Loss of limb or organ, 50 4.33 

1,152 100.00 

This table is significant because it shows that old age is the lead- 
ing factor in incapacity among these inmates. It constitutes 47.65 
per cent, in this group as compared with 33 per cent, in the alms- 
house group. Sickness follows next as a cause in 36.21 per cent, of 
the cases investigated. A considerable number are incapacitated 
through accident or loss of limb or organ. 

TABLE NUMBER 31. 

Occupation of Inmates Before Admission. 

Number 
Occupation. Investigated Per Cent. 

Skilled, 299 19.50 

Common and unskilled labor, 251 16.35 

Housewife, 559 36.44 



73 

Domestic service, 173 11.27 

Farmer, 47 3.06 

Clerk, 69 4.50 

Miner, 15 1.00 

Small business, 28 1.82 

Profession, 93 6.06 

1,534 100.00 

The foregoing table shows that the percentage of skilled and semi- 
skilled workers is about the same in this group as in the almshouse 
group — 19.50 per cent, as compared with 17.94 per cent. The per- 
centage, however, of the common and unskilled group is less than half 
of the almshouse inmates. The number engaged in domestic service 
is almost twice the number of those who were engaged in the same 
occupation among the residents of pauper houses. As would be in- 
ferred from the disproportionate number of female inmates, the num- 
ber of housewives is also greater here. In contrast to the almshouse 
population, a considerable percentage of professional people and even 
a sprinkling of small business men are found among these inmates. 

TABLE NUMBER 32. 

Weekly Earnings of Inmates Before Admission. 

Amount of Number 

Weekly Wage. Investigated. Per Cent. 

$3.00 or less, 99 13.00 

13.00 to 15.00, 140 18.24 

15.00 to 18.00, 117 15.24 

18.00 to 112.00, 212 27.63 

112.00 to 115.00, 87 11.33 

$15.00 to 120.00, 63 8.20 

120.00 to $30.00, 46 5.98 

130.00 to 140.00, 1 .13 

$40.00 and over, 2 .25 

767 100.00 

The foregoing table is significant. It shows that 31.24 per cent. 
earned less than $5.00 per week ; and 74.01 per cent, earned less than 
$12.00 per week. Such a low wage was true of only 64.81 per cent. 
among almshouse paupers. The smaller income of the majority of 
the institutional inmates may be explained by the disproportionate 
number of women inmates, who evidently received lower wages. It 
is interesting to note that the great majority of these women paid 
considerable sums as admission fees. In saving up enough from 
their meagre incomes to pay the required fees, the sacrifices these 
women must have made, in providing for their old age, are amaziug. 



74 

The percentage of those earning more than |12.00 per week is again 
smaller among the inmates of private institutions. This may again 
be explained in the above manner. 

The present sources of income of the inmates investigated were 
given as follows: 

TABLE NV3IBEB 33. 

Number 
Source of Income, Investigated. Per Cent. 

None, 1,411 80.31 

Pensions, 164 9.33 

Savings, 143 8.14 

Property holdings, 16 .92 

Children's contributions, .... 3 .17 

Any other contributions, .... 18 1.02 

Union or Fraternal benefits,. .2 .11 

1,757 100.00 

It will be seen that more than 80 per cent, have no source of in- 
come. Of the number who receive some income, 42 per cent, receive 
from $1.00 to |5.00 per week; 48 per cent, from $5.00 to $8.00 per 
week, and 10 per cent, receive more than $10.00 per week. 

With reference to the previous property holding of these inmates, 
87 per cent, stated they had never possessed any property. The 
values of the properties, of those having such, were given as follows: 
Six per cent, had properties valued at flOO and less; 11 per cent, 
from $100 to $200 ; 36 per cent, from |300 to $500, and ten per cent, 
more claimed to have had properties valued at more than $1,000. 

In entering the institutions only 321 or 16.7 per cent, of a total 
of 928 answering this question paid no entrance fees ; 5.3 per cent, 
paid $100 or less; 33 per cent, paid from $100 to $300, and 45 per 
cent, paid $300 or more on entering these homes. 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE HOMES FOR THE AGED. 

Practically all the different homes for the aged are maintained 
and managed either by various church denominations, beneficial or- 
ders, benevolent societies, or are maintained by private philanthropic 
legacies and endiowments. In addition to these sources of income 
and the income derived from admission fees, many of these organiza- 
tions solicit alms from different sources. A considerable number of 
these are also subsidized by the State. Of the 32 institutions re- 
porting to the Board of Public Charities for the year 1917, only tour 
did not charge admission fees. The entrance charge in the others 
ranged from $10, in one case, to $500 in the majority of cases. 



75 

All of the above institutions admit people only after they have 
reached a specific age. Of the 29 institutions stating the age neces- 
sary for admission, only one admits persons at the age of 45 and 
over. Fourteen institutions set the age limit at 60. In thirteen 
others no one is admitted under 65, while one institution admits 
people only after they have reached 70 years of age. 

No accurate estimate of the number of aged people in benevolent 
homes is available. In the Institutional Directory of the Board of 
Public Charities for the year 1916, there are listed 114 institutions, 
scattered throughout the State, under "Homes for the Aged." A 
number of those listed, however, have either no home in connection 
with their dispensing of relief or provide only temporary shelter. 
Approximately 100 of these institutions maintain permanent homes 
for the aged. A letter inquiring as to the number of aged inmates 
in these homes, brought 48 responses. In these institutions the total 
annual average population was found to be 2,829. Presuming that 
the same ratio of population will be true of the remainder of the 
homes for the aged, it may be assumed that the total aged popula- 
tion in 1917, residing in the different private and benevolent homes 
was approximately 6,500. 

The population of these institutions is far more stable and per- 
manent than is the case with the population in the county poor- 
houses. An analysis of the reports of 32 aged institutions, sub- 
mitted to the Board of Public Charities for the year 1917, shows that 
at the beginning of the fiscal year there were 1,466 inmates in these 
institutions. During the same year 372 more were taken in. Of 
these, 144 or 7.83 per cent, were discharged and 159 or 8.64 per cent, 
died during the same year. It will thus be observed that the move- 
ment of the population in these homes is insignificant, compared 
with that of the county almshouses. The explanation of this has 
already been stated elsewhere. The high death rate among this 
aged group is, of course, to be expected. 

Because of reasons mentioned before, the Commission was unable 
to make personal visits to these institutions. A few letters from 
the heads of these homes, however, may add some light as to the 
general character of the homes and the types of inmates. "Our 
work," writes one superintendent, "is to provide for the poor and 
destitute who have no property, no incomes, nor means of support 
and who are needy. We admit no one under 60 years of age. Most 
of them are over 70 and 80, and require care rather than means. As 
old age brings so many infirmities, there is not one here who has 
not some kind of an affliction. Our old people come to make their 
homes with us until they die." 

The Secretary of a Philadelphia Home writes, "We Ijave from 70 to 
75 residents at our home, the age rauging from 68 to 90 years. Of 



76 

this number, I do not believe there would be even as many as one 
dozen who have one cent of income at any time ; consequently, nearly 
all are entirely dependent on the bounty of the Home. Some have 
children, but I doubt if any of them are able to provide a suitable 
and comfortable home for their aged mothers ; hence, their entry into 
our institution." 

The Commander of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home 
of Erie, reports: "This is a Home for Soldiers and Sailors of the 
Civil War, and of the Spanish American War, who are admitted by 
reason of their service and their inability to maintain themselves. 
They are all over fifty years of age ; the largest number over seventy- 
five; some over eighty; some over ninety, and one over one hundred. 
Nearly all receive pensions from the National Government, the 
amounts being governed according to the age and length of their 
service, which is held in trust for them by the Board of Trustees, 
while they remain in the Home. No women are admitted. There 
are here at present 211 men." 

"We care for 175 men," writes the head of another aged institu- 
tion, "all of them are over 60 years of age; 148 are over 70, and 
several are over 90. None of them are able to do any regular line 
of work. They have no relatives or friends who are able to or care 
to look after them. They have, therefore, placed them in this home 
to be cared for in every particular as if they were children. As 
no man is admitted who has a living wife, they are all widowers or 
bachelors and will remain here until they pass away. In most cases, 
the home will provide a place of burial and assume all expenses of 
funeral." 

The matron of an Old Ladies' Home explains, "You will see, over 
half of our family have no income whatever; if they are eligible, it 
makes no difference, we admit them. If they have pensions they pay 
$51 a quarter, and they receive $24 a quarter for their own use. We 
provide everything necessary for them." Another one informs us 
"Our home is a place for old people but we have none but old ladies 
who apply. They have nothing to amount to anything over and 
above the |700 entrance fee, as we do not take women who have money 
or can take care of themselves. They must be 65 years old and have 
lived 10 years prior to application in the State of Pennsylvania ; and 
able to help themselves. They have the use of the interest of the 
little money they have over and above the $700 for themselves. If 
they have nothing, the home cares for them as long as they live." 

An Aged Colored Women's Home reports of the following inmates: 

"Mrs. M. E., born Nov. 13, 1844, widow, without children, birth- 
place Philadelphia, no income from any source." 

"Mrs. H. G., bom -Jan. 11, 1839, widow, without children, birth- 
place Port Deposit, Md., no income." 



77 

'Mrs. M. D., born at Eumley, W. Va., was a slave and does not 
know date of birth, but thinks she is about 70 years old. No chil- 
dren, without any income." 

"Mrs. J. W., born in the South in slavery, does not know where 
or when. Probably about 55 or 60 years old. Mentally incompe- 
tent. No family." 

One matron sums up the inmates of her institution as follows: 
"None are admitted who are not destitute. None have any source of 
income. None have any occupation. None have any property. 
None have any relatives willing or able to help support them." 

That the recent increase in prices affected these institutions con- 
siderably may be seen from the following letter: "The capacity of our 
home is 55 but owing to war conditions, increased cost of living, and 
the fact that the income for maintaining the home is received solely 
from legacies of its founders, we have not filled any vacancies for 
nearly three years in an effort to reduce the population of the home 
to 35." 

It was alluded to before that many of the above Homes for the 
Aged receive subsidies from the State. "In some of these homes," 
reports the Pennsylvania State Dependents Commission, "it has hap- 
pened that the State appropriation has been large enough to run the 
entire institution." The State Board of Public Charities has juris- 
diction over the operation of these institutions. They are obliged 
to make a report annually to the latter body. At the end of 1918, 
however, only about 35 of the institutions for the aged had sent in 
their reports for the year 1917. Many of those who received State 
aid did not turn in a report, and a number of the reports that were 
returned were filled out inadequately. 

The necessity of stricter supervision of these institutions has been 
recognized and advocated for some time. The Commission on De- 
pendents in its 1915 Eeport to the Legislature urged strict super- 
vision of these homes because it. has found that in many homes where 
admission fees were charged, "It has happened more than once, that 
they have fallen into financial straits and being unable to comply with 
their contracts, they have closed their doors, in consequence of which 
these elderly people have been forced to seek relief and shelter else- 
where, and have irrevocably lost their money which had been de- 
posited as an entrance fee, and which was their sole dependence for 
support for the remainder of their lives."* 

•Report of Pennsylvania Dependents Commission, 1915, Page 57. 



78 



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82 

From table No. Si, showing the incomes and expenditures of 32 
institutions for the aged, it will be observed that 15 of these institu- 
tions receive State subsidies, the amounts aggregating 148,322.97. 
The State appropriations in a number of cases exceeded the incomes 
received from all other sources. Of the grand total income of 
$581,419.63, a total of |485,441.78 was spent on 1,545 inmates. The 
average per capita cost is thus |6.03 per week or |25.83 per month. 
This is slightly higher than the per capita cost in the case of the alms- 
houses. 

That there is a more proficient system of accounting in these in- 
stitutions is apparent from the fact, that although the same classifi- 
cations of expenditures were made in these institutions as in the 
case of the almshouses, there are fewer per capita costs here which 
cannot be made to balance. The relation of expenditures on "over 
head" to "direct maintenance" and to the "grand total" of expendi- 
tures, are approximately the same in both classes of institutions. The 
tremendous overhead expenses in a few of these institutions are also 
evident from the table. In one institution the weekly per capita 
cost amounts to $19.88, while in another it amounts to |38.81. 

As in the case of the almshouses, the interest on permanent in- 
vestments and depreciation is not included in the total cost. The 
aggregate valuation of the properties of 30 of these institutions, as 
reported to the Board of Public Charities for the year 1917, was )jS2,- 
896,042.00. Five per cent, for interest and depreciation on these in- 
vestments amounts to $144,802.10. When this is added to the total 
expenditures made during the year, the aggregate expenditures are 
$630,246.88. This total when divided by 1,545 the average inmates 
supported during the year, raises the per capita cost from $25.83 per 
month to $33.99 per month. 

FACTS CONCEENING EECIPIENTS OP PEIVATE OUTDOOE 

POOE BELIEF. 

Thanks to the co-operationyof the Secretaries of the Associated 
Charities and Aid Societies of Erie, Lancaster, Lansdown, New 
Castle, Philadelphia, Seranton, Sewickley, Willamsport and York, 
their records for the latest fiscal year were examined by the Com- 
mission. Detailed information however, was secured of only such 
recipients of relief who were 50 years of age and over. A total of 
471 cases were thus investigated. 



83 

TABLH NUMBER 35. 

Ages of the Applicants for Private Outdoor Poor Relief. 

Number 
Age. Investigated. Per Cent. 

50 to 55, 60 12.7 

55 to 60, 78 16.6 

60 to 65, 62 13.2 

65 to 70, 73 15.5 

70 to 75, 104 22.0 

75 to 85, 78 16.6 

85 to 100 10 2.1 

Not stated, 6 1.3 

471 100.00 

Of the aged recipients of private charity, 20.3 per cent, were between 
50 and 60 years of age; 28.7 per cent, were between the ages of 60 
and 70, while 40.7 per cent, were 70 years of age and over. That 
poverty and old age are in direct ratio to each other is thus obvious. 

TABLE NUMBER 36. 

Conjugal Number 

Condition. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Single, 57 12.1 

Married, 213 42.2 

Widowed, 183 38.8 

Divorced, 1 .2 

Separated, 13 2.8 

Not stated, 4 .9 



471 100.00 

Although the percentage of married people in this group is much 
lower than is the case with institutional pauper classes, it is inter- 
esting to point out, that it is considerably lower than the percentage 
of the same found in the house-to-house studies; and is only a little 
more than half the percentage of married people of that age, in the 
entire population. This would seem to point out again- — what has 
already been shown — that marriage, as such, is not a direct cause of 
poverty. On the contrary, it may even tend to alleviate pauperism 
to a certain extent. Widowhood, or the loss of the breadwinner is 
the dominating factor everywhere, as a cause of poverty. This has 
been recognized in most civilized countries and practically all Euro- 
pean governments have established forms of protective insurance 
against such exigencies. 



84 

Scanty family connections are a characteristic feature of dependent 
classes. Of the married in this group, 34 per cent, live alone ; 41 pev 
cent, have but one other person living with them and only 25 per cent, 
have two or more persons in their families. Seventeen per cent, of 
the aged applicants for poor relief have children still under 16 years 
of age. Eighty- three per cent, of the children, however, are adult. 
The extent of the childrens' or other relatives' ability to help sup- 
port is given by 307 applicants. Of these, only 11 or 3.6 per cent, 
were reported as fully able to help support; 198 or 64.4 per cent, 
were reported as partly able or willing to help support, while 98 or 32 
per cent, were unable to help support in any way. 

TABLE NUMBER 31. 

Nativity of Recipients of Private Charity. 

Number 
Nativity. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Pennsylvania 140 34.2 

United States 117 28.9 

Foreign 152 36.9 



409 100.00 

While the percentage of those receiving private poor relief is veiy 
small for Pennsylvania natives, in proportion to those born in this 
State in the entire population, poverty as a ^whole, is evidently home 
grown rather than imported from foreign lands. Sixty-three and one- 
tenth per cent, of the recipients of private outdoor relief are native 
born and only 36.9 per cent, are of foreign origin. The propor- 
tion of those born in other States and .in foreign countries is much 
larger than the proportion of the same groups in the total State popu- 
lation. While the percentage of native Pennsylvanians receiving 
charity is less than half the percentage of the same in the entire 
population, the ratio of those born in other States and receiving 
charity is more than twice the proportion in the entire State popu- 
lation. 

Of the foreign born 53 per cent, were naturalized. Only 12 per 
cent, of those born in other States or in foreign countries have lived 
in Pennsylvania less than 10 years; 20 per cent, were in this State 
from 10 to 20 years ; 33 per cent, from 20 to 30 years, and 35 per cent, 
have resided here for 30 years or more. While the percentage of 
those residing a shorter period in this State is higher in this group 
than in the case of the institutional dependents, the small percentage 
of dependents contributed by recent immigration is still noticeable. 



85 
TA BLE NUMBER 38. 

Occupations at Time of Application for Relief. 

- Number 
Occupations. Investigated. Per Cent. 

Not working 168 48.4 

Common and unskilled labor. 87 25.0 

Skilled labor 11 3.2 

Domestic service 58 16.8 

Housewife 23 6.6 



347 100.00 

The striking feature in the above table is the fact that 48.4 per 
cent, were not working at the time of application for relief. The 
small percentage of skilled workmen, as is apparent from the table, 
is significant. The large number engaged in domestic service is also 
conspicuous. The causes for relief were attributed to sickness, by 
41.6 per cent., and unemployment by 7 per cent. Other causes for 
relief given, were : old age by 42 per cent. ; insufflcient income or 
low wages by two and one-half per cent. ; strikes by 1.8 per cent. ; 
accident by one and one-half per cent. ; domestic and other mal- 
adjustments by 3 per cent., and less than 1 per cent, were in tem- 
porary need because of death. 

The earning capacity of aged people may be seen from the follow- 
ing: Of those who were working at the time of their applying for 
relief, 48.6 per cent, were earning less than |5 per week ; 20.5 per cent, 
earned from |5 to |12 per week, and only 30.9 per cent, earned 
wages above |12 per week. These earnings, it must be remembered, 
were in a period of the greatest prosperity, in which high wages 
were the rule. 

One-half of the applicants, to the Charity Organizations enumer- 
ated above, had ho other sources of income outside their own wages. 
Of those having some outside assistance 70.8 per cent, were helped 
by children or other relatives; 10.2 per cent, by church organiza- 
tions ; 8 per cent, had pensions ; 5.3 per cent, were receiving benefits 
from unions or fraternal organizations and 5.7 per cent, more were 
receiving some income from property holdings or savings. The 
amounts of these outside incomes were less than $5 per week in 56 
per cent, of the cases ; from $5 to flO per week in 32 per cent., and 
only 12 per cent, had outside incomes amounting to $10 or more per 

week. 

Of the 471 cases investigated, by these different Charity Organiza- 
tions 26.2 per cent, were found to be fully in need. Seventy-two and 
three-tenths per cent, were partly needy and only 1.5 per cent, were 



86 

found to be in no distress. Eighteen per cent, of these applicants had 
received relief once or more before ; 82 per cent., however, had applied 
for the first time. Only 9 per cent, of those applying for private 
relief -were inmates of charitable institutions at some previous time 
in their lives. 

The nature of relief given to these applicants is listed as follows: 

TABLE NUMBER 39. 

Nature of Relief Given. 

Kind. Number. Per Cent. 

Food 1C5 49.6 

Fuel 50 15.0 

Cash 49 14.7 

Clothes 25 7.5 

Legal advice 11 3.3 

Home provided 11 3.3 

Medical assistance 8 2.4 

Given work 4 1.2 

Referred to other institutions 2 .6 

Relief refused 8 2.4 



333 100.00 

The amounts given per mouth to these applicants were as follows: 
27.3 per cent, received |3 and less a month ; 16.7 per cent, were given 
from |3 to .fo per month; 33.8 per cent, from |5 to |10 per month, 
and 22.2 per cent, received relief amounting to more than |10 per 
month. The length of time this relief continued was for 1 month 
or less, 35.4 per cent. ; from 1 to 3 months, 17.2 per cent. ; from 3 to 12 
months, 19.2 per cent., and for more than 1 year, 28.2 per cent. 

WORK OF THE PHILADELPHIA SOCIETY FOR ORGANIZING 

CHARITY. 

The Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity had 218 appli- 
cants for relief, who were -"iO years of age or over for their fiscal year 
ending October, 1918. 

The nativity of these applicants was as follows: 111 were born in 
the United States; 40 were born in Ireland; 22 in England; 17 in 
Italy ; 13 in Germany ; G in Scotland, and one in each of the following 
countries : Austria, Armenia, France, Poland, Switzerland, and West 
Indies. Of the foreign born 34 were naturalized ; 32 were not natural- 
ized, while the citizenship of the rest of the cases could not be ascer- 
tained. Seventy-three were born in Pennsylvania and lived here all 



87 

their lives ; 13 resided in Pennsylvania over 50 years ; 45 lived in this 
Slate from 25 to 50 years ; 35 from 5 to 25 years ; i lived here less than 
o years and in 48 cases the length of residence was uncertain. 

The ages of the applicants were as follows : 44 were over 50 years 
of age but under 60 years ; 55 were between the ages of 60 and 70 ; 92 
between 70 and 80 ; 20 between 80 and 90 ; three were over 90 years of 
age and four did not know their ages. Thirty- two of these were 
single ; 56 were married and lived together ; 112 were widows, 10 were 
widowers and 8 were deserted or divorced. 

Eighty-one of these applicants were living alone; 72 had two in 
their families ; 26 had three in their families ; 9 had 4 ; 14 had 5 ; 5 had 
fymilies consisting of 6 persons each ; and 22 had more than 6 in their 
families. Mnety-six of the applicants had no children living. Ten 
had children under 16 years; 57 had children over 21 years of age. 
Six had dependent grandchildren. Only 21 of these lived with mar- 
ried children and grandchildren. 

At the time of application 146 had no occupation; 24 did house- 
work; 20 did odd jobs; 16 sewed for a living and 4 were barbers. 
Among the other occupations given were mill-workers, carpenters, 
machinists, tin-makers, expressmen, news-stand men, clerks, teachers, 
peddlers, pipe-titters and storekeepers. Of those working at the 
time 37 earned less than f5 per week. Fifteen earned from |5 to |10 
per week ; 9 earned from flO to .f 15 per week and 4 worked for their 
board. 

The previous occupations of these applicants are significant; forty- 
six were domestic servants; 30 were housewives; 20 were seam- 
stresses ; 19 were laborers ; 6 were collectors ; 5 were teachers, with a 
like number of drivers; 2 were watchmen; three were blacksmiths; 
and one was a pharmacist. Four had been in the regular army. 
Others were pipe fitters, actors, wholesale notion sellers, shoemakers, 
printers and longshoremen. 

The reasons attributed for relief were as follows : Feebleness from 
age 140 ; sickness 87 ; unemployment 25 ; irregular employment 9; non- 
support 20; accident 14; blind or deaf 15; intemperance 10; previous 
supporter incapacitated 14; and a few others because of exhausted 
savings. 

Of the 218 cases, 92 were completely dependent ; 86 were partially 
dependent ; 30 were temporarily dependent ; 6 needed homes ; and 4 
would be dependent when small savings were exhausted. The nature 
of the relief given was food in 88 cases ; in 2S cases rent was paid and 
in a like mimber of cases clothing wa^purchased. Coal was given to 
29 persons. Sixty-three persons were helped with a montlily outlay 
of S5 and under; 51 were given from $5 to ?]0 per month; 27 from $10 
to S15 ■ 7 from ;i?15 to .1?20, and 14 persons were given relief amounting 
to |20 and more per month. 



88 

Of the other sources of income received by these applicants, 40 
received support from children ; 25 from relatives ; 9 from friends ; 
20 received pensions; 22 were given free homes with relatives; 11 
were assisted by churches ; 6 had lodgers, and 30 had no other sources 
of income than that given by the Philadelphia Society for Organizing 
Charity. Only 13 of the 218 cases had obtained outdoor relief pre- 
viously, and 28 had been inmates of charitable institutions before. 

The extent of the ability of the children or other relatives to help 
support may be judged from the following: Twenty-five applicants 
secured complete support from children; 92 were given partial sup- 
port ; 40 had no relatives ; 17 had relatives who could not be located ; 
23 had relatives who were unable to support, while 21 had relatives 
who were able but unwilling to help support. 

The Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity gave cash relief 
to 162 of these aged applicants. The total amount given for the 
entire period these cases were under the care of the Society, was. 
$33,291.57. 



STUDY OF THE NON-DEPENDENT AGED POPULATION. 

By far the most numerous and most significant aged group to be 
considered in any study of the problems confronting the aged — is the 
non-dependent* aged group. This class constitutes the most import- 
antant element when a system of old age pensions is contemplated for 
the aged poor. Many aged people, not depending upon public or pri- 
vate charity, and nominally standing above the line of dependency and 
who are excluded from the ranks of the pauper classes, are often in 
needy circumstances, and would properly be entitled to share in the 
benefits of any system of old age pensions. It is, therefore, of prime 
importance to have all the information with regard to the number of 
the aged who are above or below the line of dependency ; the extent 
to which they were able and have saved for old age, and the degree 
of their physical capabilities to take care of themselves. 

Altho certain phases of the aged problem are generally known, the 
information available, was found to be insufficient as far as furnish- 
ing fuly the data which is necessary in a study of the exact condi- 
tions of the old people. This lack of material was even more felt 
when facts relating to the social and economic condition<! of the 
aged in Pennsylvania were sought. The Commission, therefore, 
deemed it advisable to make direct surveys of these people and secure 
the information at first hand. Studies of the aged people — including 

♦This term Is not used literally. It is applied only to the senile population residing in their own 
homes as contrasted with the aged dependents who are receiving public or private relief It IB 
not to be inferred that every person in tliis group has never been a recipient of relief or was not 
depending upon some one else for support at the time of investigation. 



89 

men and women — 50 years of age and over, were made by the Commis- 
sion in particular sections of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Beading. 
The districts were selected in each city after consultation with local 
social workers and municipal authorities. The aim was to select dis- 
tricts, not only representative of the entire city population but ones 
populated principally by the different wage-earning elements, espe- 
cially the better paid skilled workmen. 

The districts canvassed in Philadelphia were the 16th and 17th 
wards. These are located in the northeastern part of the city, known 
as the Kensington District. In 1910, the populations of the 16th and 
17th wards were 16,175 and 17,484 respectively. The majority of the 
inhabitants of these wards consist of wage-earners engaged largely 
in the textile industry and an intermittent sprinkling of small busi- 
ness men. In Pittsburgh, the 18th ward with a population in 1910 
of 17,994, was investigated. This ward is located in the section 
known as South Hills. The inhabitants of this ward are made up 
largely of skilled workmen and clerks, with a considerable number of 
professional and business men. In Eeading, the investigations cov- 
ered the 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th and 16th wards. In 1910 the total popu- 
Lction of these wards was 38,135. These wards, scattered thniout the 
city, are inhabited by representative groups of the city. These dis- 
tricts embrace the middle class neighborhoods, the wealthy sections 
and the slum districts of the city. 

Every family, in the districts canvassed, was visited by the Com- 
mission's investigators. Detailed information, however, was solic- 
ited only of those having some member of the family 50 years of age 
and over.* In those families not having any one 50 years of age or 
o\er, the number in the family was taken down on a separate blank, 
provided for that purpose. When both husband and wife were over 
50, the wife's age was taken down. All other data was obtained only 
with regard to the husband. When the husband was dead, the in- 
formation of the present conditions was obtained with regard to the 
widow; and the previous conditions with regard to the husband, if 
possible. 

In Philadelphia, 1,055 persons 50 years of age and over were inter- 
viewed from a card schedule provided for that purpose. The total 
population visited was 16,281. In Pittsburgh, 1,252 persons were 
interrogated. The total population visited was 13,960. In Reading, 
in the five wards canvassed, a total of 2,170 aged people were ques- 
tioned. The number of people visited was 21,763. The combined 
number of people 50 years of age and over investigated by tlio Com- 
mission in the three cities, was 4,477. The total population covered 
was 52,004. 

.Tt In not to be Inferred that this comparatively low age was eelected with a few of pensioning 
t /hot BM The Commission decided to inclode In the group to be stndied, all those 50 years of 
\. oVirl over because of the valuable information the yoimger group was expected to supply to the 
led problem especially as it Is affected by the particular Pennsylvania industries. 



90 



TABLE NUMBER 40. 

Ages of Persons Investigated in the Pkiladelphia, Pittsburgh, and 

Eeading Surveys. 



Age. 


Pittsburgh. 


Keading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


50 to B5, 


328 
263 
265 
160 
127 
96 
13 


26.2 
21.0 
21.2 
12.8 
10.0 
7.7 
1.1 


534 
443 
406 
286 
254 
207 
6 
34 


24.6 
20.4 
18.7 
13.2 
11.7 

9.5 
.3 

1.6 


285 
268 
197 
119 
106 
72 
8 


26.9 
25.4 
18.7 
11.3 
10.0 
6.7 
1.0 


26 9 


55 to 60, 


22 2 


60 to 65, 


19 B 


65 to 70, - 


12.B 


70 to 75, ._ - - 


10.7 


75 to 85, . - _ 


8.0 


85 to 100, 


.7 


Not stated 


5 
















1,252 


100.0 


2,170 


100.0 


1,055 


100.0 


lOO.O 



The percentage of old people, between the ages of 50 and 60, in 
tbe three cities mentioned above was found to be 48.1. Between the 
ages of 60 and 65 the average is 19.5 per cent.; 12.5 per cent, is the 
average in the three cities of those who are from 65 to 70 years of 
age, while 19.9 per cent, are 70 years of age and over. Approximate 
percentages for the same age classifications in the entire State popula- 
tion of those 50 years of age and over are given in the 1910 Census. 
Tliese are: between the ages of 50 and 59, 51.9 per cent. ; from 60 years 
of age to 64, 17.5 per cent. ; from 65 to 75, 21.8 per cent., and 8.4 per 
cent, for those 75 years of age and over. In 1910 there were in Penn- 
sylvania a total of 1,073,442 persons over 50 years of age; of these, 
5r>8,603 were between the ages of 50 to 59; 188,921 were between the 
ages of 60 to 64; 234,887 from 65 to 74, and 91,031 over 75 years 
of age. 

The percentage of people over 50 years of age in the entire State 
population in 1910 was 14 per cent. The percentage of those 45 years 
o.p age and over was 19.1. In urban centers, however, the percentage 
of those 45 years of age and over was 18.3 or eight-tenths less than in 
the entire State. The 1910 U. S. Census also gives the percentages of 
people 65 years of age and over as 4.3 for the entire population. The 
same aged population divided by urban and rural districts was 3.'i 
and 5.1 per cent, respectively. On the basis of the relation of the 
total aged people interviewed (including their wives), and th..^ popula- 
tion visited in the house-to-house ctudies, the percentage of people 50 
years of age and over is 11.3. The percentage of those 65 years of 
age and over is found to constitute 3,2 i;er cent, of the total popula- 
tion. 



m 



TABLE NUMBEE 41. 



Sex. 


Pittsburgh. 


Headins. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Male, 


794- 
813 


49.4 
BO. 6 


1,413 
1,512 


48.3 
51.7 


668 
675 


49.8 
60.2 


49.2 


Female, 






Total, 


1,607 


100.0 


2,925 


100.0 


1,343 


100.0 









The totals in the above table include also the wives who were 50 
years of age and over. It will be seen that the percentage of females 
50 years of age and over is a little higher than that of males. Tlie 
proportion of males and females, for those 50 years of age and over, 
as .given in the 1910 Census for the entire State population was as 
fellows: 49.8 per cent, for females and 50.2 per cent, for males. In 
urban centers, however, the ratio of males 45 years of age and over as 
given by the same Census was 17.8 per cent, as compared with 20.1 
per cent, in rural districts. The percentage of women of the same 
age group was 18.9 in urban centers and 20.1 in rural district^'. The 
apparent discrepency between the figures in the above table and the 
Census figures for the entire State population may be due to the fact 
that the percentage of women 45 years of age and over in Hn urban 
centers is higher than the percentage of men of the same age grounp 
1'- the same centers. 



TABLE NUMBER 42. 
Marital Conditions. 





Pittsburgh. 


Heading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Single, 


50 

705 

493 

3 

1 


4.0 

56.0 

39.0 

.2 

.8 


114 

1,238 

800 

5 

10 

3 


5.3 

57.0 

36.9 

.2 

.5 

.1 


73 
559 
407 
3 
5 
8 


6.9 

53.0 

38.5 

.3 

.5 
.8 


5.4 


Married, 


55.1 


Widowed, 


88.2 


Divorced, _ 


.2 


Sepiarated, 


.6 


Not stated, 


.6 




1,252 


100.0 


2,170 


100.0 


1,055 


100.0 


100.0 



The above table reveals many interesting facts. The average per- 
centage of single people is found to be 5.4. The average for married 
is found to be 55 per cent. In the entire State population, as given in 
the 1910 census, the percentage of single people 45 years of age and 
over was 9.5 per cent. For the same year the percentage of married 
people, 45 years of age and over, was 69 per cent. A considerable in- 
crease over the Census figures is found in the case of widowed persons. 
The figures being 38.22 per cent, as given in the above table and 20.8 



92 

per cent, as given by the Census. The proportion of divorced in this 
aged group is less than one per cent, in both cases. The differences 
between the Commission's figures and those given by the Census may 
i:i part be accounted for by the fact that the latter figures include 
also the group between 45 and 50 years of age, while the former 
figures deal only with those 50 years of age and over. It is to be 
expected that the number of single people would be somewhat less 
among the older group than among the younger. The differences in 
the percentages of married people may be accounted for by the fact 
that the proportion of widowed in the three cities is almost twice as 
large as that given by the Census. That a considerable number die 
between the ages of 45 and 50 is obvious. The remarkable differences 
between the marital conditions of this senile group and the aged insti- 
tutional pauper classes have already been pointed out. 

TABLE NUMBER 43. 
Places of Birth. 



Nativity. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Aveirage 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




465 
20S 
569 
15 


37.1 

16.2 

45.5 

1.2 


1,830 

69 

208 

63 


84.3 
S.3 

9.8 
2.8 


356 
50 

616 
33 


33.8 
4.7 

68.4 
3.1 


B1.7 




8.1 




37.8 


Not fltated 


2.4 








1,252 


100.0 


2,170 


100.0 


1,055 


100.0 


100.0 



It will be observed from the foregoing table that of the people in- 
vestigated 51.7 per cent, were born in Pennsylvania ; 8.1 per cent, 
were born in other states of the Union, while 37.8 per cent, were of 
fcreign birth. The nativity of the entire State population in 1910 
was, native born 81.2 per cent., and 18.8 per cent, foreign bom. The 
percentage of those bom in other States as compared with those born 
in Pennsylvania, was 9.4 per cent, and 90.6 per cent, respectively. 



TABLE NUMBER 44. 
Length of Time in United States. 



Length of Time. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


PMladelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




5 

22 

64 

466 


.9 

8.9 

11.6 

83.7 


20 

IS 

18 

138 


10.6 
6.9 
9.6 

73.0 


69 
123 

92 
311 


11.5 
20.7 
15.5 
52.3 


7.7 


10 to 20 - 


lO.B 


20 to 30 J!- 


12.2 


30 and over, 


69.6 


Total, v> 


557 


100.0 


189 


100.0 


695 


lOO.O 


100.0 



93 

That only 7.7 per cent, of the foreign born have lived in the United 
States less than 10 years, is to be expected when it is remembered that 
men ordinarily emigrate to a strange country in the prime of life. 
Few people can undertake this responsibility when past middle age. 
The insignificant number of those having a short period of residence 
in Pittsburgh is largely due to the character of the population of the 
particular district and does not hold true of the entire foreign popula 
tion of the city. Twnty-two and sven-tenths per cent, have lived 
in the United States from 10 to 30 years, while of the foreign born 
residing in this county for 30 years or more the percentage varies 
from 52.3 per cent, in Philadelphia to 83.7 per cent, in Pittsburgh. 
The average for all cities of this class of residents is 69.6 per cent. 

TABLE NUMBER 45. 
Length of Eesidence in Pennsylvania. 





Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


— ■ 

Average 
Per 
cent. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




12 

9 

51 

116 

1,064 


1.0 

- .7 

4.0 

9.3 

85.0 


14 
15 
24 
44 
2,073 


.6 

.7 

1.1 

2.0 

95.6 


14 
63 
126 
89 

763 


1.3 

e.o 

11.9 
8.4 
72.4 




5 to 10 years, _ 


2 5 


10 to 20 years, ■ „ 


5 7 


20 to 30 years, 


a a 


30 years and over, 


84.3 






Total - - - 


1,252 


100.0 


2,170 


lOO.O 


1,055 


100.0 


100.0 







The number of aged people residing in Pennsylvania under 10 years 
is apparently very small. That Philadelphia should have a higher 
percentage of the short time residents, is to be expected because 
of its larger foreign population. The proportion of those residing 
in Pennsylvania more than 30 years or all their lives, is very large in 
each city. The exceedingly higher percentage found in Reading is to 
be expected from a pouplation consisting largely of natives. 

TABLE NUMBER 46. 
Poltical Status of The Foreign Born. 





Naturalized. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 




No. 


Per ceiit. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


cent; 


Yes 




464 
39 


92.2 
7.8 


163 
30 


84.5 
15.5 


308 
177 


63.5 

36.6 


80.1 


No 




19.9 






503 


100.0 


193 


100.0 


485 


100.0 


lOO.O 









According to the Thirteenth United States Census, the percentage 
of naturalized foreigners in Philadelphia in 1910, was 41.5 jier cent. 
In Pittsburgh the percentage was 41, while in Reading it amounted 



94 

to 31.6 per cent. The higher percentages of naturalized voters given 
in the above table, as compared with those in the Census, is to be 
expected of the older persons whose period of residence, as stated 
before, was quite long. It may also be explained by the fact that the 
war has spurred many foreigners to become naturalized. 

TABLE NUMBER 47. 
Number of Persons in the Families Investigated. 



Number. 



Pittsburgh. 



No. Per cent. 



Eeading. 



No. 



Per cent. 



PMadelphia. 



No. 



Per cent. 



Average 
Per 
cent. 



1 in family, 

2 in family, 

3 in family, 

4 in family, 

5 in family, 

6 in faanily, 

7 in family, 

8 in family, 

9 in family, 

10 in family, 

Over 10 in family 
Not stated, 

Total, 



258 

833 

249 

158 

78 

64 

41 

31 

16 

7 

3 

14 



1,252 



20.6 

26.6 

20.0 

12.6 

6.2 

5.1 

3.3 

2.5 

1.3 

.6 

.2 

1.1 



100.0 



563 
421 
299 
215 
116 
76 
38 
18 
14 
16 
40 



2,170 



16.3 

26.0 

19.4 

13.8 

9.9 

5.4 

3.5 

1.8 



.7 
1.8 



271 

SOO 

130 

115 

87 

62 

35 

29 

13 

6 

2 

6 



100.0 



1,055 



25.7 

28.4 

12.3 

10.9 

8.3 

5.9 

3.3 

2.8 

1.2 

.5 

.2 

.5 



21.2 

27.0 

17.2 

12.5 

8.1 

6.4 

3.3 

2.3 

1.1 

.5 

.3 

1.1 

lOfl.O 



The preceding table is interesting. It will be observed that the 
number living alone varies from 16.3 in Reading to 20.6 in Pittsburgh 
and 2.5.7 in Philadelphia. This variation is readily explained by the 
larger foreign born population in the respective cities, which contrib- 
ute a greater number of single people. Twenty-seven per cent, have 
ouly their wives living with them. The number of aged folks living 
either alone or with their wives constitute thus, nearly 50 per cent. 
Twenty-nine and seven-tenths per cent, have one or two children 
living with them and 21 per cent, have three or more children residing 
with them. 



TABLE NUMBER 48. 
Number of Children Living. 





Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


None, 


94 
176 
170 
178 
153 
114 
112 
163 

10 


8.0 
15.0 
14.0 
15.2 
13.1 

9.7 
10.0 
14.0 

1.0 


199 
820 
330 
306 
244 
184 
111 
228 
22 


10.2 
16.5 
17.0 
15.7 
12.6 
9.5 
6.7 
11.7 
1.1 


131 
152 
169 
144 
113 
S4 
76 
92 
7 


13.7 
15.9 
16.6 
15.0 
11.8 
8.8 
7.9 

9.e 

.7 


10.6 
16.8 
16 9 


1, 


2 


3, .- _. . 


15.3 
12 5 


4, __ 


5 - 




C, ..-, _ 


7.6 


7 to 10, __ _ .. 


11.8 




.9 








1,170 


100.0 


1,944 


100.0 


958 


100.0 


lOO.O 



95 

Attention has already been called to the fact, that while of this 
aged class, only 10.6 per cent, have no children, the percentage of 
those not having any children in the pauper groups were 65.61 per 
cent, in the case of almshouse inmates; a similar percentage in the 
case of inmates of benevolent homes, and 44 per cent, in the case of 
the recipients of private outdoor relief. It is evident that the pos- 
session of children in old age is a great protection against depend- 
ency. Thirty-one per cent., as shown in Table No. 48, had one or two 
children living; forty-five per cent, had from 3 to 6 children alive: 
while 12.7 per cent, had more tban 6 children living. Of these chil- 
dren, only 3.3 per cent, were still under 16 years of age ; 16 per cent, 
of the adult children were married, while 80.7 per cent, were still 
single. It is interesting to note that among the aged people apply- 
ing to the Charity Organizations for relief, the number of those hav- 
ing children still under 16 years of age, was 17 per cent., or more 
tban five times the proportion in this group. 



TABLE NUMBER 49. 
Number of Dependents. 



Number. 


Pittsburgh. 


Heading. 


PMladelpUa. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




36.? 
303 
165 
87 
49 
24 
44 


!i5.1 

29.3 
15.9 
S.4 
4.7 
2.3 
4.3 


782 
BS7 
248 
117 
68 
24 
29 


43.3 
29.8 
13.7 
6.5 
3.8 
1.3 
1.6 


287 
293 
99 
72 
33 
22 
16 


35.1 
35.5 
12.0 
8.8 
4.0 
2.7 
1.9 


37.8 


1, 


31.5 


2, _ - _ - -_ 


13.9 


3 _ _ _ 


7.9 


4 ■ 


4.2 


5, _„ _ 


2.1 




2.6 






Total 


1,035 


100.0 


1,805 


100.0 


822 


100.0 


100.0 







Altho as was pointed out, only a small percentage of this grou]) 
have children under 16 years of age, the number of those, however, 
having no one depending upon them is only 37.8 per cent. Thirty-one 
and five-tenths per cent, have their wives to support, while 30.7 per 
cent, more, have one or more children besides their wives depending 
upon them. The dependents are, of course, not confined to juvenile 
children. They are often defective adult children and members of 
the family who are invalided. Many cases were found where aged 
people were supporting their widowed daughters or grandchildren 
who were left orphans, or who were defective. 



96 

TABLE NUMBER 50. 
Living with Whom. 



Living With. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




588 
56 
188 
206 
66 


63.3 
5.1 
17.0 
18.6 
6.0 


969 
157 
218 
340 
177 


.52.6 
8.5 
11.8 
18.1 
9.0 


448 

75 

144 

143 

94 


49.6 
8.3 
15.9 

15.8 
10.4 


51.8 


Alone - 


7.3 




14.9 


Married cliildren, 


17.5 


Relatives or friends, 


8.6 


Total, . 


1,104 


100.0 


1,881 


100.0 


9M 


100.0 


lOO.O 







Of the total 3,889 families given in the above table, it is seen that 
more than 50 per cent, were still the heads of their own families. 
Seven and three-tenths per cent, lived alone; 32.4 per cent, lived with 
children and 8.5 per cent, were living with relatives or friends The 
liirge number of the non-dependent parents residing with their chil- 
dren is striking, as compared with the pauper classes. This is a 
result largely, because unlike the case with the pauper classes where 
tlie great majority of the children were unable to help support, the 
occupations ascertained of the children who do support their aged 
parents seem to show that the latter are more or less capable of doing 
so. The figures in the folowing table reveal the fact that only few 
of these children belong to the lowest ranks of labor. 

TABLE NUMBER 51. . 
Occupations of Children who Support Their Parents. 



Occupation. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Skilled and semi-skilled, „. 
Oommon and unskilled la- 


109 
105 

iia 

20 
17 


29.7 

28.6 
31.8 
5.5 
4.6 


237 

120 
52 
21 
10 


53.8 

27.3 
11.8 
4.8 
2.3 


83 

49 

18 
30 
5 


44.8 

28.6, 
9.7 

16.2 
2.7 


42.7 
27 6 


Olerlcal, — 


17.7 
8.8 
3 8 


Small business, 

Professional, _ 






Total, . 


S87 


100.0 


440 


lOO.O 


185 


lOO.O 


100.0 





Of the married children, who were supporting their parents, it ap- 
pears that a great majority were not burdened with large families of 
tlieir own. Seventeen per cent, had no children at all ; 47 per cent, 
had but one or two children to support ; 24.5 per cent, had three or 
four children living, and only 11.5 had more than four children of 
their own. A number of cases, in each city, however, were found 



97 

where aged persons were supported by children who were earning low 
wages and had large families of their own. Aged parents— and in 
some cases even distantly removed relatives — were given support by 
many heads of families even though it entailed great sacrifices. This 
burden, altho in most cases borne cheerfully, was nevertheless, at the 
expense of their own and their children's comfort. 

TABLE NUMBER 52. * 

Physical Condition and Cause of Disability of the Aged Persons. 



Physical Condition. 


Pittsburgh. 


Beading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 

cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Sound or lair health, 

Poor or bad health, 


770 
184 
110 
33 
31 
19 
13 
12 
11 
5 
5 
4 

2^ 


64.0 

15.3 

9.1 

2.8 

2.6 

1.7 

1.0 

1.0 

.9 

.4 

.4 

.3 

.3 

.2 


1,255 
276 
211 
42 
54 
43 
18 
26 
47 
-9 
S 
8 
3 
6 


62.6 

13.7 

10.5 

2.1 

2.8 

2.2 

.9 

1.3 

2.3 

.5 

.3 

.4 

.1 

- .3 


649 
122 
99 
30 
25 
22 
12 
13 
11 
1 
3 
S 
2 


65.5 

12.8 

10.0 

3.0 

2.5 

2.2 

1.2 

1.3 

1.1 

.1 

.3 

.3 

.2 


64.0 
13.8 
9.9 


Peeble from old age, — - 

Crippled or maimed, 

Deiective hearing or sight,. 
Chronic sickness - 


2.7 
2.6 
2.0 
1.0 


Kidney trouble, - 


1.2 


Heart trouble, 


1.5 


Epileptic, 

Invalided, - 


.3 
.3 


Tuberculosis, — 


.3 


Dropsey, 


.2 
.2 






Total 


1,202 


100.0 


2,003 


100.0 


992 


100.0 


100.0 



The comparatively larger number of thi^ senile population in 
sound or fair health, over those in pauper institutions has been com- 
mented on before. That the percentage of people between the ages 
of 50 and 60 is greater in this group than in the pauper classes has 
also been pointed out. It is significant, however, to note th .t 36 per 
cent, of the people 50 years of age and over in the three cities studied 
have already become incapacitated. The leading defects given were 
as follows: 13.8 per cent, were in a general bad or poor state of 
health ; 9.9 per cent, were suffering from rheumatism, and only 2.7 per 
cent, claimed old age as a direct cause of their feebleness. Small per- 
centages were suffring from various illnesses. Of the number re- 
ported sick in the three cities 61,8 per cent, were partially incapaci- 
tated and 38.2 per cent, were tQtaly incapacitated for labor. 



98 





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99 

The extent of sickness in t&e families, from whom information with 
regard to this was obtained, is shown in the preceding table. It will 
be seen that 58.1 per cent, had no sickness during the past year in 
their families ; 1-1. S per cent, had less than one month of sickness ; 
10.8 i)er cent, had from one to three months of sickness ; i».8 i>er cent, 
had sickness in their families from three to 12 months, while G.."> 
per cent, had somebody sick in their families for more than twelve 
n»onths. Sickness with regard to wage-earners themselves in the 
same families is found to be as follows: f)'.).~) per cent, of ti\e wage- 
earners were not sick at any time during the year. 18. G per cent, were 
sick for less than three months ; 10.9 per cent, were sick from one to 
three months ; 8.7 per cent, from three to twelve months, and 2.-3 per 
cent, were sick all the time during the year. The enormous amount of 
sickness among wage-earners themselves in this population in signifi- 
cant. 



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101 

Table Number 54 reveals many interesting facts. An exaraination 
ol the total number of aged persons in all the three cities from 
whom the previous and present occupations were ascertained, shows 
that men past a certain age must quit even the skilled trades in 
which they have been engaged the greater part of their lives. Modern 
industry, apparently, has little use for the superannuated worker, 
and few men can continue working at the same occupation after they 
have reached a certain age. While 36 per cent, stated that they 
were skilled or semi-skilled mechanics in thir earlier days, only 23.8 
per cent., of men past 50 years of age, were sstill engaged in the same 
occupation. The percentage of those doing unskilled or common 
labor or clerical labor, on the other hand, remained stable. That 
there would be a decrease in the per cent, of the aged population 
formerly engaged in small business enterprises is surprising. It is 
also to be noticed that in their earlier days less than 2 per cent, 
^ere not working because of incapacity, but 26.6 per cent, were 
found not to be working among those 50 years of age and over. The 
fluctuations of the minor occupations are inconsiderable. 



102 






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103 

^able Numbep 55 is significant. The effects of war wages upon 
the earning capacity of this senile group is shown clearly. The 
extreme low pay has diminished considerably. While 7.5 per cent, 
were earning less than ijfo per week in their former days only 3.5 per 
cent, or less than half were earning the same at the time of investiga- 
tion in spite of their advanced ages. This would seem to show that 
the wage rate per day was considerably higher during the war period, 
and men and women who because of their poor health could work 
only two or three days in the week, earned more than they did foi* 
merly,. even while working, in many cases, every day in the week. 
The percentage earning the next wage from $5 to .|12 per week is also 
almost one-third the percentage of those who earned the same weekly 
sums in their earlier ages. On the other hand, of those' who earned 
the average wage previously, between |12 and |20 per week, the 
percentage was 42.3 per cent, as against 28.2 per cent, earning the 
same amounts at the time of investigation. Twenty-two and one- 
tenth per cent., however, were earning |20 or more a week in their 
earlier days, but 24 per cent, were earning the same amount of money 
at present. In spite of the tremendous industrial expansion iii Penn- 
sylvania during the war, and the drafting of the young workers from 
the three cities investigated, it is evident from the low standard of 
the average wage paid these workers, that aged people are either not 
wanted in Pennsylvania industries or are not remunerated to the 
same extent as the younger workers, or to the extent of the Avages 
earned by themselves in their earlier days. Besides the effects of the 
increased cost of living, however, the conditions of the aged were 
affected by the war in many other ways. Many of the old folks were 
supported largely by young children who boarded with them. Altho 
the latter often made no direct contributions to the family, they paid 
for their room and board, which very often was sufflcient to keep the 
entire family in comfort. A^'hen these boys were drafted, a great 
number either made no allotment or in many cases, when they were 
made, they were received after much delay. A great many aged 
people were thus left almost destitute by the war. Instead, there- 
fore, of decreasing the problem of aged dependency, the effect of the 
war has tended to augment it. 

It is interesting to observe the variations in the present wage- 
standards of the three different cities. Philadelphia gives th<i highest 
percentage of those aged earning less than |12 per week. The per- 
centages being 9.3 for Pittsburgh ; 14.2 in Reading, and 19.3 pei cent, 
earning this amount in Philadelphia. Of those earning the average 

y^nae between .^12 and S20 jjev week — Philadelphia leads Avith 31.8 

per cent. ; Koadiug follows with 27.7 per cent., while Pittsburgh gives 
the lowest, 25.1 per cent. The latter city, however, leads in the per- 
centage.-of those earning the highest wages. Of the old people having 



104 



an income of $20 or more per week, Pittsburgh leads with 30 per cent. ; 
Reading folows with 22.6 per cent., while Philadelphia has only 18.9 
per cent, earning the same amount. 

TABLE NUMBER 56. 
Causes of Loss of Earning-Power. 



OauBe of Loss. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadeli>bla. 


Aveiagt 
for 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


AU. 


Sickness, 

'Old aee . .. 


76 

83 

, 38 

19 


35.2 

S8.4 

17.6 

8.8 


157 

105 

31 

14 


51.1 

34.2 

10.1 

4.6 


120 
71 
26 

2 


64.8 

32.4 

11.9 

.9 


47.0 
35.0 




13.2 


Various other causes, 


4.8 


Total, - 


216 


100.0 


307 


100.0 


219 


100.0 


100.0 







The causes attributed to the impairment of wages are given in the 
above table. It will be observed that sickness is the leading cause of 
impairment. However, this is true only of Reading and Philadel- 
phia, the leading cause of disability in Pittsburgh is attributed to old 
age, which in the former two cities, ranks second. 

TABLE NUMBER 57. 

Ages When Earning-Power Was Partially and Totally Impaired For 
the Three Cities Inclusive. 



Age. 


Age When Impaired. 


Age When Stopped. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Undar 30 - 


21 

32 

152 

126 

112 

109 

52 

41 

13 


3.2 

4.8 

23.2 

19.2 

17.1 

16.6 

7.8 

6.2 

1.9 








16 
65 
64 
70 
102 
81 
74 
29 


3.0 


40 to 50 


11.2 




13.0 


55 to 60 


14.2 




21.0 




16.6 - 


70 >to 75 


15.1 
6.0 






Total, — 


658 


100.0 


490 


100.0 



The above table is significant. While the percentage of workers, 
whose earning-power is impaired before the age of 40 in Pennsyl' 
vania, is small, the percentage of those whose earning-power is im- 
paired between the period of 40 and 50 years of age is considerable. 
Fifty per cent, of workers have their earning-power impaired before 
the age of 55. When reaching the age of 65, nearly 85 per cent, of 
wage-earners have their earning-power impaired and their wages re- 
duced. 



That many heads of families still continue to labor even after their 
health has been impaired is generally known. The above taile shows 
that only 14.2 per cent, had stopped working altogether before the age 
of 50. At the age of 60, altho 67.5 per cent, had their health im- 
paired, only 41.4 per cent, of the heads of the families had .actually 
stopped working. It is interesting to point out that while there is 
little difference between the three cities with regard to the impair- 
ment ages, there is considerable variation in the percentages of those 
that stopped working altogether before reaching the given age period. 
Only in 9 per cent, of the cases did the earning power stop entirely 
before 50 years of age in Reading. In Philadelphia, the earning 
power of 13.8 per cent, of the heads of families stopped before reach- 
ing the age of 50, while in Pittsburgh it was 21.26 per cent. 





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107 

The preceding table is exceedingly signiiicant. Tt will be observed 
that the earning power of manj-^ workers is impaired before they 
reach the age of 40. The percentage varies from 2.6 per cent, among 
indoor and sedentary trades to 16.4 in the steel industry and 57.1 
per cent, in the case of railroad workers. Only in the steel industry, 
however, is there found a number who are totally incapacitated before 
the age of 40. The extent of incapacity before reaching the age of 50 
among workers, classified according to the industries they were en- 
gaged in, is also shown in the above table. It will be observed that 
in the building trades 12.6 per cent, are partially impaired before 
the age of 50 and only 6.3 per cent, are totally incapacitated before 
reaching the same age. On reaching that age it is found that 55.3 
per cent, are partially and 14.1 per cent, are totally impaired in the 
case of steel workers. Of those engaged in causal occupations 26.7 
per cent, have their earning powers partly, and 8.4 wholly reduced 
before attaining 50 years of age. Of indoor and sedentary trades 
the percentage of partially impaired before the 50th birthday is 15.2, 
while 8.3 are wholly disqualified for service at that age. Twenty-six 
and nine-tenths per cent, among glass blower.s have their earning 
powers reduced before reaching 50 years of age and 20 per cent, at 
the same age are permanently incapacitated. Of skilled workmen in 
the various trades, 29 per cent, are impaired partially and less than 3 
per cent, wholly before attaining their 50th birthday. Among rail- 
road workers of those whose incomes are affected before the age of 50, 
the percentages are 64.3 to a partial extent and 6.2 entirely. 

At the age of 60, the proportion of workers, according to the various 
trades, whose earning powers had not yet been affected are as follows: 
In the building trades 55.1 per cent, suffered no loss of income before 
reaching the age of 60. In the steel industry only i;^>.2 per cent, were 
earning the same amounts as in their earlier days at that age. 
Thirty-six per cent, of workers are still found engaged at 60 in casual 
occupations. Among workers of indoor and sedentary trades, 46.5 
per cent, were found without reductions in their earning power at the 
age of 60. Only 26.9 per cent, of glass blowers are in their full 
capacity at that age, and none are found engaged in that industry at 
the age of 70. The percentage of skilled mechanics in good health 
at 60, is 25.5 per cent., while 28.2 per cent, of railroad workers are 
found to be in unimpaired health at the age of 60. 



108 

TABLE NUMBER 59. 

Causes of Disability According to Occupations Engaged In. 



Occupation. 



Sickness. 



No. Per cent. 



Old Age. 



Industrial 
Accident. ' Mal-adjustment, 



No. Per cent. No. Per cent.. No. Per cent 



Building trades, ' 73 

Steel industry, j 35 

Casual occupations, 83 

Indoor and sedentary oc- 
cupations I 96 

Grlasa blowers, - 13 

Various skilled trades, ..i 69 

Bailroad workers. 9 



65.7 
43.7 
51.8 

57.9 
59.1 
61.4 '■ 
32.1 I 



23.7 
32.5 
36.9 

36.5 
36.4 
35.1 
32.1 



12 j 
16 I 
18 1 

5 

1 
15 
10 



10.6 
20.1 
11.3 

4.3 

4.5 

11.2 

36.8 



3.7 



1.3 



A glance at table Number 59 reveals the causes of the high and low 
disability age periods as are found in the various industries. In the 
building trades the leading cause of disability is attributed to sick- 
ness, with old age following. The same is true of all other industries 
except in the case of railroads, where the leading cause is attributerl 
to accidents, with 35.8 per cent. Old age, as a cause of incapacity, is 
highest in the case of indoor and sedentary occupations and lowest in 
the building trades. Accidents as a cause of disability, as stated 
above, is highest among railroad workers. A high percentage of acci- 
dents — 20.1 — is also found among steel workers. 



TABLE NUMBER GO. 
Other Sources of Income. 



Sources. 



Pittsburgh. 



No. Per cent. 



Beading. 



Philadelphia. 



No. jPercent., No. Percent.) 



Average 

I for 
All. 



None. 

Children's support, 

Property-holdings, 

Savings, 

Pensions, .—-— 

Insurance, 

Union and fraternal benefits, 
All other contributions, 

Total, 



364 
315 
200 
34 
47 
18 
11 
145 



1,134 



82.0 

28.6 
18.0 
.3 
4.0 
2.3 
1.8 
13.0 



768 
421 
193 

64 
141 

27 
172 

87 



41.0 
22.5 
10.3 
3.4 
7.5 
1.5 
9.2 
4.6 



lOO.O I 



1,873 



100.0 



445 
164 
66 



11 
48 



57.6 
21.2 

7.2 ' 
.8 ' 

4.5 

1.1 

1.4 

6.2 



100.0 



43.6 
24.2 
11.8 
1.5 
6.3 
I.« 
4.1 
7.9 



lOO.O 



It will be seen that the proportion of those who have other sources 
of income besides their wages is quite varied in tJie three cities. 1" 
Pittsburgh, only 32 per cent, have no other source of income. In 
Reading, there are 41 per cent, having no other means of support, 
whUe in Philadelphia more than one-half, or 57.6 per cent, claimed to 
have had no other source of income except their earnings. The ex- 
planation largely lies, as has been pointed out before, in the different 



109 

characteristics of the populations canvassed in the three cities. 
For the three cities inclusive, the average per cent, receiving in- 
comes from property holdings was 11.8 ; from savings 1.5 per cent. ; 
from pensions 5.3 per cent. ; from insurance l.G per cent. ; and from 
unions or fraternal organizations 4.1 per cent. Many of the aged 
folks were supporting themselves by having their children board 
with them, while the great majority were living with their children 
ord were supported by them. 

The aihounts of the outside income were given as follows: 3.1 per 
cent, claimed an income from other sources amounting to less than 
|2 a week; 11.7 per cent, received an income from |2 to |5 per week; 
20.1 per cent, from |5 to |10 per week; 19.9 per cent, from $10 to 
|20; 18.1 per cent. $20 or more, while 27.1 per cent, only received 
room and board and the necessary expenses. 

TABLE NIJMBEE 61. 







Property Possessions. 










Owned Property 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
for 
AU. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


Yes, 


-__ - 


600 
439 


57.5 
i2.5 


580 

888 


39. B 
60.5 


95 
449 


17.5 
82.5 


88.0 
62.0 




Total, 






,1039 


100.0 1,468 


100.0 


544 


100.0 


100.0 









The differences, in the three cities, between those who claimed to 
have had property above debts at any time is significant. Only 17.5 
per cent, of Philadelphians claimed to have had property of their own. 
In Beading, the percentage was 39 and one-half per cent., while in 
Pittsburgh, 57.5 per cent, claimed to have had property abo\e debts. 
On the other hand, while in Pittsburgh only 42.5 per cent, had no 
property, the percentage of the same in Philadelphia was 82,5 per 
cent, or nearly double the number in Pittsburgh. 

Of those who claimed to have had property in their earlier days 
but who had lost it, the causes given for the losses were as follows: 
88.3 per cent, had to sell their properties in order to meet emergency 
needs, or because of want of immediate support; 7.1 per cent, lost 
their property thru unwise investments; 2.3 per cent, thru bank fail- 
ures, while an equal per cent, lost their property thru fraud. 

The adequacy of the earnings of the aged in Pennsylvania to meet 
their needs, may to a certain extent be judged from the following 
tibles. The weekly expenditures given below are only for those aged 
who were the heads of the families. No classification is here made 
as to the expenditures of individual males, females, couples or fami- 
lies. The average number of persons in the families studied, how- 
ever, was in Pittsburgh, 3.6, Reading 3.8, and Philadelphia, 3.7. 



110 

TABLE NUMBER G12. 

Monthly Expeiulitmes for Bent. 



Amount per Month. 


Pittsburgh. 


Reading. 


Plniladelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. |Per/cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




13 1.4 
29 3.1 


32 2.0 
63 1 4.1 
223 1 1'.5 
234 : 1-T.3 
142 9.6 
r,2 ' 3.4 

^1 i 


62 


7:2 


3.5 


$ 5 to $ 8 


91 ' 12.6 

167 23.2 

102 14.2 

105 14.5 

7« ' 10.5 

14 ' 2.0 

4 .5 

111 ' 16.3 


6.6 




69 
38 
6» 
DS 
26 
6 


6.3 
4.1 
7.4 
9.8 
2.7 
.6 


14.6 


$12 to $15, - 


11.2 


$15 to $20, 


10.5 




8.0 


ftSO to S40 


1.7 


$40 and over, ^ 


.4 




609 1 64.6 


774 


60.6 


43.5 






Total -- 


942 ^ 100.0 


1,629 


100.0 


722 ' 100.0 


100.0 







For the three cities studied, 10.1 per cent, pay rentals of less than 
!t'S per month. The variations tor (»a(li city, liowcver, are consider- 
able. It varies from 4.5 per cent, in Pittsburgh to 19.8 per cent, in 
Philadelphia. Tr^^enty-flve and eight-teiitlis per cent, pay rentals 
ranging from ^8 to |15 per month. This again varies from 10.1 per 
cent, in Pittsburgh to 2!t.S in Reading and 'MA per cent, in Pliiladel- 
phia. In the Philadelphia districts, more than 50 per cent, pay 
rentals amounting to less than |15 per month. In Pittsburgh only 
14.9 per cent, pay similar sums. The differences in these rentals is 
not only an indication of the higher rents ]>ai(l in Pittsburgh but 
further bears out the dift'erences in the character of the poimlation, 
residing in the territories canvassed in the different cities. It is 
again to be noticed that while only 15 per cent, wei-e owning their 
liomes in Philadelphia, 50.6 per cent owned homes in Reading and 
fi+.6 per cent, v/ere home owners in Pittsbui'gh. The average home 
ownership for the three cities is 43.5 per cent. The Thirteen tTi U. S. 
Census gives the home ownership for Pennsylvania as 41.5 per cent. 
In the entire United States, home ownership was 45.8 per cent. 

TABLE NUMBER C3. 
Weekly Food Expenditures. 



Weelfly Amount. 


Pittsburgh . 


Heading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


$ 5 and under, 
$ 5 to $10, 


48 
123 
205 
147 

99 


7.7 
19.7 
33.0 
23.8 
16.0 


98 
280 
317 
166 

91 


10.4 
29.5 
33.4 
17.2 
9.5 


61 
108 
104 
66 
52 


15.8 
26.7 
26.9 
17.2 
13.4 


11.8 
25.3 


$10 to $15, ___ . 


31.1 


$15 to $20, ._ 


19.2 


$20 and more - 


13.1 






Total, — - _- 


622 


lOO.O 


951 


lOO.O 


386 


100.0 


100.0 







Ill 

The -greater number of single aged people in Philadelphia again 
accounts for the greater percentage of those spending least on food 
per week. A greater number spend from flO to |20 on food, in Pitts- 
burgh, than in Eeading or Philadelphia. For the three cities inclu- 
sive only 36.6 per cent, spend less than |10 per week on food ; 50.3 
per cent, have expenditures on food running from $10 to $20 per 
week, while 13.1 per cent, spend more than |20 per week on food. 

TABLE NUMBER 61. 

Monthly Expenditures for Clothing. 





Pittsburgh. Reading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 




No. 


Per cent. 


No. jper cent. 
1 


No. 


Per cent. 


None 


45 
48 
40 
18 


30.0 
32.0 
26.0 
12.0 


142 

493 

52 

8 


20.2 
71.0 
7.5 
1.3 


50 
117 
54 
11 


21.6 

50.6 

23.2 

4.7 


23.9 
61.2 
18.9 
6.0 


$ i and under, 


$ 5 to $10, — .. 


$10 and over, ^ 


Total, - 


151 


100.0 


695 


lOO.O 


232 


100.0 


100.0 





The remarkable small expeditures made on clothing by many aged 
folks is evident from the above table. This is to be expected of the 
aged group, who manage to get along with much less expenses on 
clothing than can the younger and middle aged group. It will be ob- 
served that in Pittsburgh the number having no expenditures on 
clothing is considerably larger than the number in other cities. That 
the large expenditures made on rents and food have something to do 
with this fact, has been borne out from the investigations in the three 
cities. Many aged parents, in answer to the question of the amounts 
spent on food and rents replied, "we spend all we make." Very little 
under these circumstances was left to be spent for clothing. The 
ii.genious methods applied by many housewives in obtaining their 
clothes were astonishing. Only 25 per cent, were spending more than 
$4 a month on clothing. 

TABLE NUMBER 65. 
Monthly Expenditures for Medicine. 



Amount per Month. 


Pittsburgh . 


Heading. 


Philadelphia. 


Average 
Per 
cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 


No. 


Per cent. 




81 
92 
22 
12 


39.1 
44.4 
10.7 
,5.8 


265 

440 

19 

7 


35.3 
61.1 
2.6 
1.0 


149 

178 

9 

5 


43.7 

52.2 

2.6 

1.5 


41.4 




48.3 




6.7 




3.6 








207 


100.0 


721 


100.0 


341 


100.0 


100.0 







Onlv 41.4: per cent, had no expenses on medicine; 48.3 per cent, 
spent less than $1 per week; 10 per cent., however, were found to 
have medicine expenditures of over $5 per week. 



CHAPTER II. 



EXTENT AND NATURE OF EXISTING PENSION SYSTEMS 
IN PENNSYLVANIA. 



(1) INDUSTRIAL PENSION SYSTEMS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

The problem of the old man in industry is comparatively a new 
one. It is the outgrowth of the machine process and industriaL 
expansion. It might seem to some, that the war, with its increasing 
demand for labor, has checked, if not solved, the problem of super- 
annuation. But the careful observer will readily see that the prob- 
lem has only been aggravated. The increased industrial efiiciency, 
necessitated by the war, and the great demand for young men, has 
magnified the problem of the worn out worker. And as under the 
added strain of war efficiency combined with modern industry, human 
energy soon wears out, the problem will, doubtless, grow in its 
intensity. 

In Pennsylvania the problem is pressing. This is due to the fact 
that in this State we find located some of the country's leading cor- 
porations. In these industries, producing the country's largest 
wealth, millions of men are employed. In order, therefore, to ascer- 
tain to what extent industrial concerns are taking care of their 
aged or superannuated workers, letters were sent to every corpora- 
tion in the State employing five hundred men or more. A number 
of other firms, with well known pension or retirement systems, were 
also canvassed. The latter, although not necessarily located in the 
State have nevertheless hundreds of workers here. The letters aimed 
to inquire into the various systems of superannuation now in opera- 
tion by the different concerijis. In addition,*^ information as to the 
number of employes, the number of pensioners, the amount expended 
on them and the total annual payroll, was solicited. 

Two hundred and fifty letters wer.e addressed to these concerns. 
Nearly two hundred of them promptly replied, stating whether or 
not they had any definite system, pensioning their old employes. 

No one will deny that the problem of the aged worker is of para- 
mount importance. This is "true in Pennsylvania on account of our 
highly developed industries. In view of these facts, it is rather sur- 
prising to see the remarkably small percentage of concerns that have 
actually established regular pension systems. 

(113) 
8 



114 

This is even more astonishing when it is acknowledged by all 
indnwtrial leaders, that a pension system is a "good business 
policy." Furthermore, it is claimed by many employers that the 
system is doiilg much to reconcile the tAvo classes. It is generally 
argued that an established pension fund, reduces the extent of indus- 
trial discontent and cultivates instead efficiency and feelings of 
harmony and loyalty. The employes generally accept such a sys- 
tem with favor and thus bring the employer and employes together 
in recognizing a mutual interest. It is universally admitted that 
it has done much to eliminate waste and demoralization in industry, 
as a result of continued employment of men who have long outlived 
their usefulness. 

It may not be proiitable to enter into an exhaustive discussion 
of the motives for the establishment of such systems. SuflSce it to 
say, however, that it is generally agreed by all students, that while 
a few may have been inspired by humanitarian or philanthropic 
motives, the economic considerations play the leading part. Pen- 
sions are given not only "as a reward for faithful and efficient 
service" and "appreciation of the fidelity and honest service of the 
employe," but also, "as an incentive to further service" as is 
explicitly stated by many corporations. It is hardly probable that 
one of the chief purposes, as advanced by several students, in estab'- 
lishing a regular pension system, was to lessen the attractiveness 
of labor imions and make men loyal to their employers, rather than 
to one another or to any Brotherhood. Were this true, it has failed 
in its purpose. We have but to observe the growth and power of the 
Ilailroad Brotherhoods while contending with such systems for a 
long period in this country. However, Miles M. Dawson, in the 
U. .S. Department of Labor report of the Proceedings of the Con- 
ference on Social Insurance, held in December 1916, relates an 
instance when "A Canadian Railway Company which had not 
engaged to pay pensions, except at its pleasure, recalled retired 
employes to its service upon the occasion of a strike, on penalty of 
forfeiting their pensions. This involved depriving an old employe 
of the reward of a lifetime of service unless ready to dishonor him- 
self by betraying a Brotherhood of which he had been a member for 
a quarter century or longer.''- 

Neither can it be advanced that employers of labor have failed to 
adopt regular pension schemes in view of the expense involved. On 
the contrary, systems of pensions have proved ultimately to be inex- 
pensive undertakings. Pensions have come to be merely deferred 
wages paid as dividends in case of incapacity. This is not only the 
opinion of many students of the problem, but is even acknowledged 
bv manv industrial leaders. The President of a New York and Penn- 



115 

sylvania concern writes for instance, "Investigations on our part 
Lave developed the fact that as a rule under a pension system the 
rate of pay is inadequate." 

The Illinois Pension Laws Commission concludes in its 1916 
report that "Whether the contribution to a pension fund be taken 
wholly from the employe's wages or salary, or be paid wholly by 
the employer, or be derived in part from each, these contributions 
are in-all three cases to be regarded as in reality a deduction from 
wages or salary. The existence of a pension system in connection 
with any position or employment is taken into account by both 
parties to the contract of employment, and that, broadly speaking, 
wages and salaries actually paid are in due course reduced below 
what they otherwise would be by the amount of the total contribu- 
tions from both the employer and employe to a pension fund. The 
employe will thus pay for his pension by deductions from his wages 
or salary, whether he is conscious of it or not. Indeed it is quite 
possible that with a sound fund in existence the reduction in wages 
and salaries may in time materially exceed the amount of the total 
contributions owing to the advantages of such a fund to the employe 
under present economic conditions. This consideration further 
emphasizes the advantage to the employer of having such a fund 
established."* 

That this is generally true and admitted by many may be seen 
from tne following report of one of the largest plants in the State. 
While reporting as having only forty persons on its pension roll, 
receiving payments varying from fifteen dollars to forty dollars 
per month, the company states that "it has always been the policy 
of the company that any employe growing old or employed to the 
end of his utility in the works shall not want in his or her declin- 
ing days." The letter further adds: "This fact is generally known 
by the employes and apparently works out quite satisfactorily and 
agreeably to the mutual advantage of the employe and the company.'^ 



•Illinois Pension Commission Laws Report 1916 pagre 282. 



116 





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133 

An analysis of these systems as shown in the preceding table brings 
many interesting facts to the foreground. (1) It is evident that 
these industrial systems are still in their experimental stage. This 
is brought out clearly by the f;ict that with only two exfe]>tions thi'y 
have all been established within the last seven or eight years. (2) 
They give no representation in the management to the employes, 
except when the employes make contributions (and even then not 
in all cases), and they are either under the direct control of the 
board of directors or by a board appointed by them. (3) The plans 
in use in Pennsylvania for pensioning wage-earners nearly always 
provide out and out service pensions with provisions made for the 
voluntary or compulsory retirement at a certain age. The fact that 
only four corporations have contributory systems emphasizes the 
difficulties confronted in such a system. These obstacles are: (a) 
Wage workers resent compulsory savings and are opposed to entrust- 
ing these to their employers', as they are in each case, (b) The 
instability of wage-earners employment necessarily makes any sys- 
tem of contributions complicated. Wage workers, unlike salaried 
employes, do not anticipate continuing long in the service, nor do 
many of them expect to be promoted. 

With the exceptions of Strawbridge & Clothier, Armour, and 
Morris and companies, Avhich have contributory systems, membershij) 
is, of course, not compulsory and applies to all employes, A^ith the 
exception of a few cases where a certain age or amount of wages 
is required for eligibility to membership. In one or two cases mem- 
bership in the Relief Fund of the Company is required. At least 
one company, while stating that membership to the Relief Fund is 
not compulsory, adds that "preference in laying off and taking on 
will usually be given to such members or persons offering to become 
such." However, most of the systems are not contributory and are 
generally "granted as a voluntary reward for faithful and efficient 
service and as an incentive to further service," to quote the lan- 
guage of a few concerns. 

With reference to the age of retirement it appears that while 
seventy years of age is everywhere set as the maximum period of 
service, a number of concerns have more liberal provisions. Prac- 
tically all provide that employes may retire at sixty -Ave at their 
own request or at the discretion of the company. A number of 
concerns even provide for retirement at sixty, and some at fifty-tive. 
That female employes cannot be continued the sanie length of time 
in the service as male employes is apparent from the provisions 
made by the several companies which employ female labor, for an 
earlier retirement. While seventy years of age is set as tlie general 
compulsory retirement age for men employes, sixty years, with one 
exception, is the highest age set for women workers. 



134 

Continuous service is generally required in considering the period 
of employment, and leave of absence, suspension, or lay off for a 
period longer than six months, in the majority of cases, constitutes 
a break in this service and employes lose all credit for previous 
employment. 

rractieally all establisiicd systems base the amount of the annual 
pension \ipon u certain percentage of the employe's wages. Gen- 
erally, it is computed by taking one per cent, of the monthly wages 
for the last ten years and multiplying by the number of years of 
service. Four concerns, however, have a two per cent, basis while 
Morris & Company has as high as a two and a half per cent, basis. 
Others have a straight sum of about |15 to |20 per month. 

With the exception of Armour & Company — whose system is only 
for salaried employes — and carries a restriction of five thousand 
dollars per annum maximum, the general limit of a pension is one 
hundred dollars per month, and in one case at least only fifteen 
dollars per month. The minimum amount generally allowed varies 
from 18.40 per month in one case to |30 in another. The average 
being about .$20 per month. 

The question of providing for the stability of the fund is a very 
serious one. It is obvious that when no contributions are made 
by the employes, that the company should provide for all deficiencies. 
In most instances the corporations guarantee the payments to all 
those already on the payroll or to those who may soon become 
entitled to it. In a few cases as that of the United States Steel 
and Catnegie Fund, where a .|12,000,000 fund is established, pay- 
ments of peiisiojis are, oi' course, secured. A number of concerns, 
however, stat(,' that the company "reserves the right at any time 
to withdraw or modify this grant." While a few concerns not 
engaged in A\ar industries may not feel able to continue pensions 
"particularly in war times," as is expressed by one well knpwn con- 
cern which was engaged in the production of non-war essentials, 
with the great majority of large Pennnsylvania concerns there can 
be no doubt of the company's abilitj' to pay its pension. Indeed 
as one large concern in the Eastern part of the State points out 
"We feel the need of something better than this but any adequate 
system would impose a burden which, while it could be easily car- 
ried as times are now. would be crushing in times such as we had 
before the war."' This concern further adds that "We have for 
many years paid pensions to a few of our employes who had served 
long periods with our concern. We have no regular system for this, 
however, and during the business depression prior to the war, 
which hit us severely, we had to suspend payment of these in some 
cases." 



135 

That this situation is fraught with the greatest danger is obvious. 
Co quote Mr. L. W. Squire "The question naturally comes to the 
Qind of the thinking working man: What is the measure of the 
lisappointment of the scores, perhaps hundreds, of employes of the 
;orporation who were looking forward to pensions for the support 
)f old age and are now helpless and unprovided for? Such a con- 
iition is analogous to that of the crew of a vessel who, after a 
ong hard voyage over dangerous seas with food exhausted, nerves 
•acked and strength almost gone, have only one hope left, — that of 
speedily making an hospitable harbor; but alas, find themselves 
shipwrecked upon a barren island." Only one concern purchases 
mnuities from a reliable insurance company, and those that have 
Bstablished funds generally provide for a reduction in the annuity 
basis if the annual expenditures exceed the sum allowed for that 
year. 

It is evident from our analysis that most concerns take care of 
those who become incapacitated regardless of age. Definite proof 
of incapacity by the company's physician is generally specified. In 
a number of cases these are dealt with individually by the boards ; 
a few have special allowances while others have no provisions at all. 
Although a shorter peiiod of continued service is frequently 
required in this case, it is, nevertheless, specified. The period varies 
from ten years in two establishments to twenty-five years in another. 
The sum allowed for this irregulai- pension is ge'ierally determined 
in the same way as the regular one i. e. by computing a percentage 
of the monthly wages multiplied by the number of years of serv- 
ice. Special allowances, however, are provided in a few instances 
and in one case it is "determined after consideration of all circum- 
stances and length of service." 

In those concerns where systems of relief funds are also to be 
found, cases of total disability are, of course, taken care of. Where 
no such systems exist and where an employe has not served the 
required time — unless his case may come under The State Work- 
men's Compensation Act — there is evidently no relief. 

The granting of a pension ordinarily does not debar the pensioner 
from engaging in any other business. But in a few cases the amount 
of annuity varies inversely with the income from other sources. 
That it would, however, be practically impossible for any employe 
to follow the line of work he could do best and to which he was 
accustomed, is obvious from the provision made by practically all 
concerns that he cannot engage in any other business which may 
be prejudicial to the company's interests. Nor may he be further 
engaged by the same company. This provision would seem also to 
allav the fear of some people of the possible competition of the 
nensioners. Although isolated instances are related of retired old 



136 

men who accept jobs for less money, because added to their pension 
their wants are more readily satisfied, it is hardly a problem with 
the industrial pensioners who ordinarily spend all their life-power 
before retiring.* At any rate the fact of receiving a pension would 
hardly make one a more dangerous competitor in the labor market 
than if one were left starving at the age of sixty or seventy and was 
still able to perform some useful labor. 

An indication of the length of time usually in service before one 
is retired on a pension may be seen from the following table. It 
includes all the retired employes of the U. S. Steel Corporation and 
subsidiaries, since its establishment in 1911 to 1918 inclusive. 

Table No. 67. 

Years of Service With The U. S. Steel Co. by the 3,341 Pensioned 

Employes. 

No. of Years Number Per cent. 

1.43 

10.41 

18.18 

30.53 

18.17 

11.84 

5.80 

3.44 

.20 



0. of Y^ears 


Numb 


6 to 10 


-IS 


10 to 15 


348 


15 to 20 


007 


20 to 25 


1,020 


25 to 30 


604 


30 to 35 


398 


35 to 40 


194 


40 to 50 


115 


50 & over 


7 



3,341 100.00 

It will be observed that only 1.43 per cent, were employed less than 
10 years before retirement; 28.59 per cent, were in the service 
between ten to 20 years, while 48.7 per cent, were employed from 
20 to 30 years, and 21.28 per cent, served more than 30 years before 
they were retired on a pension. 

It may also be of interest to add that of the former employes receiv- 
ing pensions from the U. S. Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund, more 
than 17 per cent, come from the departments directing the manage- 
ment and superintendence of the various concerns. Only about 21 
per cent, of the pensioners are listed as common or unskilled laborers. 
The rest represent the skilled and semi-skilled groups. 

The insignificant total number of employes on pensions in this 
greatest industrial State and the small sum expended by the concerns 

•The following comment by the manager of the U. S. Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund con- 
firms this. In his report for the year 1917 he states; "of the number relieved from duty in 
1917 because of physical incapacity, 15 per cent, died in 1917, indicating that they had giyen 
their full measure of loyalty to the service." 



137 

which employed them, stand out very noticeably in table no. 66. The 
number of former employes receiving pensions when compared with 
the total number employed at a particular time is negligible. Of 
the concerns from whom information was obtained, with regard to 
the amounts spent on pensions and on their total payrolls, the 
former is found to exceed one per cent, of the latter in only two 
instances. With the majority of concerns, the expenditures on 
pensions amount to less than one-half of one per cent, of their 
annual payroll. 

Many of the concerns having regularly established pension sys- 
tems state that they are governed in granting pensions by the "char- 
acter and quality of service," and provide for increases in "especially 
meritorious cases." A large number of these concerns have also 
quite elaborate relief, sickness and benefit insurance schemes. All 
concerns are explicit against any inference of vested rights or priv- 
ileges granted to employes by the pension. The companies always 
reserve the right to discharge an employe or terminate a pension 
for violation of any of the company laws or gross misconduct and 
so forth. 

It may be interesting to observe the great variety of industries 
which have established regular pension schemes, as is apparent 
from table no. 66. There are pension schemes established not 
only by Iron & Steel, and similar concerns, but there can be found 
included also Packing Companies, and at least one department 
store, and one Insurance Company. 

Although the industries enumerated in the above table are the 
only ones in the State having established definite systems of pension- 
ing their old employes, a great many more concerns report that 
while they have no regular provisions, individual measures have 
been adopted to take care of superannuated and faithful workmen. 
These companies deal with each case on its own merits and while 
not having any basic principles to depend on, generally follow cer- 
tain well marked out lines. Thus one corporation reports: "In the 
past whenever any one has been in continuous service for twenty- 
five or more years and has arrived at the age of seventy he is pen- 
sioned on half pay. This does not apply in every case, as there are 
some less important cases which will receive perhaps one-third pay." 
Another one states: "Whenevei' any one of our employes is inca- 
pacitated we feel it is an obligation of ours to take care of him or 
her, whether they have been in our employ five years or fifty years. 
We therefore, have no definite plan, but take care of each case indi- 
vidually. At the present time we have fifty-four who are pensioned 
and the amounts paid to them vary from $5 to |10 per week. We 
consider that our stock plan is more of a pension system than any- 
thing else, even though it is not recognized as such and the employes 



138 

participate even before tliey become incapacitated. Nearly al] of 
oui* employes who have been with the Company for ten years or 
more have been allotted stock of the Company which costs them 
absolutely nothing, the stock being paid for by dividends. When 
the stock is fully paid the dividends are paid to the beneficiary 
but the stock is held in trust for the individual for, a period of flf- 
teen years. If the employe severs his connection with the Company 
for any reason, aside from illness or being incapacitated he will 
receive the par value, and the stock reverts back to the Trustees. 
If the employe dies or if incapacitated the stock is then transferred 
to him or his heirs and becomes their personal property. We feel 
that this is a provision against old age that is better than any pen- 
sion plan we can adopt." 

The General Cigar Co. reports: ''We have in eifect a pension sys- 
tem payable generally after the service of years as follows: using ten 
per cent, of the last week's salary as a basis, one per cent, is added 
for each year's service. The time of retirement rests upon the judg- 
ment of the Superintendent in direct charge and subject to the 
approval of the officers of the Company." 

As very little variation can be found in these plans, it is inter- 
esting to find one concern reporting tliat: "This Company assumes 
all expenses in connection with group insurance which is carried 
on the life of every employe who has been with us for a period 
exceeding one year or more." In its letter to the employes which 
is attached to every policy, this Company states: -'In appreciation 
of past service and to indicate our interest in you and those depend- 
ent upon your efforts, we ask that you accept with our best wishes 
and free of expense, attached Life Insurance Policy issued by the 
Etna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, under 
arrangements where! ly the dependents of our employes are pro- 
tected under a special plan as follows: — 

"To those employed one continuous full year and less than two 
years, the amount of insurance policy .f.300.00. Two continuous full 
years or longer service |500.00. For continuous service thereafter 
an increase of |100.00 annually until the maximum amount of 
11,000.00 has been reached." 

"In case of death of the employe his (or her) dependents will be 
paid in cash the sum noted above, in accordance with the length 
of continuous service the employe has given us." 

"It is important to say that this insurance does not in any way 
take the place of any payments to be made to you for accidents 
under Workmen's Compensation Laws." 

"If it is your desire to specially name any beneficiaiy your wishes 
in this respect may be indicated by filling out a card which wiU b? 
furnished for this purpose," 



139 

That the granting of a pension is still looked upon by some as a 
paternal offer to the worthy, although careless, children is evident 
from the following interesting letter which states that: "Our usual 
method of procedure is first to gi\'e an old and faithful employe 
very light day work without a reduction in his wages; this keeps 
him occupied, he retains his self respect; besides he is rendering 
some service and remains among his friends. When he becomes 
too old or infirm to perform any kind of work, we supply whatever 
money is necessary to keep him in comfortable circumstances. We 
have never ignored any old faithful employe." At the present the 
company has six on pension roll, payments varying from flOO per 
month to one person to |25 to another. 

The same president of the company tlieu continues to say that: 
"The Company does not bind itself to continue these pensions; in 
other words there is no contract with the employe but as stated 
above the Company has never abandoned an old faithful employe 
and has no intention of doing so in the future. We have to be 
extremely careful not ,to place a premium on lack of thrift. The 
thrifty men who are as a rule the best workmen do not require pen- 
sions; a number of our old employes have left us and become shop 
keepers. We realize fully that under the pi;esent arrangement a 
man who learns to take care of himself and provides for his old 
age receives no pension; on the other hand we feel obliged to assist 
those who are not unfortunate but are shiftless as regards their 
personal affairs." 

One of the largest plants in the .State reports that : "We consider 
each case individually, giving due weight to such factors as length 
of service, loyalt;f"of service, character of work employe was engaged 
in, number of dependents, present mode of living, age and general 
physical conditions at the time of application. The Company has 
on its pension roll at present about forty persons, payments varying 
from |15 to |40 per month with one or two exceptions where higher 
rates are paid." The Company has also a beneficial association 
which embodies no pension feature. 

"At the Johnstown plant of the Cambria Steel Company," reads 
another report, "the Cambria Benefit Association, an organization 
composed of our employes and operated and governed by its own 
directors embodies a pension fund into which 35 cents per month 
is paid by the members. Cambria Steel Company contributes to 
the same fund at the rate of 10 cents per month per member equal 
to about |20,000 per annum. The Company also contributes the 
cost of operation ; i. e. salaries, expenses, office supplies, etc., of the 
C M B. A. officers and clerks. This amounts to about .?14,000 so 
that the aggregate contribution by the Company is about .';';'>1,000 per 
annum. Last year's report of the 1917 pension fund, shows the 



140 

Total number on pension list Dec. ;J1, 1917, 145 

Total amount paid in pensions for year, |33,10S 

Average pension paid per month from f20 to $30." 

Many rea.sons are given by the various concerns in explaining the 
absence of definite provisions for old age pensions. From the replies 
made, it is apparent that a great majority of large concerns in the 
(rotate are not only aware of the value of such a system but have 
also given a great deal of thought to the subject. Numerous con- 
cerns report of being not only "heartily in favor of establishing 
such a system" or "of the good work of the Commission" but many 
corporations have actually had committees studying the subject 
for months and even for years in a few instances. Where no reg- 
ular systems have been established, it is generally because it is 
believed by these corporations that it is more advantageous to them 
to deal with the individual as "such arrangement is a much better 
plan than any legal system because it gives the opportunity to 
nwaid real merit," to quote the president of one concern in Phila- 
delphia. Thi.s Company further assures us that "we always confer 
such benefits where we are assured that thgy are deserved by long 
services and fidelity," or as is stated in another letter "it is not 
established," because, "the number of our employes and the close- 
ness with which the oflBicers of our concern come in contact with 
them does not make a system advisable in our opinion at the pres- 
ent time." 

This method of dealing with the individual employe, used by so 
many of the large corporations which undoubtedly could afford the 
establishment of a regular scheme is seriously objected to even by 
many advanced thinkers among the employers. The principal objec- 
tion is best stated by L. W. Squire when he warns us of "the sus- 
picion among employes that favoritism and partiality may determine 
the fact and amount of pension, which suspicion seriously affects 
the contentment, loyalty and industry of workmen growing old in 
the corporation's service." 

However, besides the obvious difficulties which would be con- 
fronted by smaller concerns in establishing a formal pension sys- 
tem, there are many other reasons given which can be reduced in 
summing up to the following: H ) That the business has not been 
"running long enough to warrant adopting a plan of this kind." 
(2) That the working force is not stable enough and never stay 
long enough. This is particularly true of industries where many 
young women are employed who according to the reports, "either 
have a natural tendency to get married" or as stated by another 
concern of a similar industry that "being located in the heart of 
the coal region they marry when they reach maturity." This insta- 



141 

bility and greater labor turnover has apparently been increased by 
the war. Especially is this the case with the industries located 
near munition plants or ship building yards which caunot compete 
with the new establishments. One concern for instance reports that 
"As a matter of fact we are unable to keep them long enough that 
they would ever be entitled to a pension, owing to our proximity to 
Hog Island and other munition plants in this vicinity." 

Another company reports, "At the present time our force is 
greatly depleted, by reason of our help leaving for employment in 
the ship-yards, draft, and so forth." But it adds: "It has been ouv 
practice to pay our employes for what they lose in sickness and 
otherwise." The following report may also be very interesting; it 
slates: "With the wages we are now paying we think our 
employes well able to provide for themselves. Looks as though the 
bosses would have to be provided with old age pensions." 

That only the concerns employing wage-earners on a large scale 
can afford to establish well defined systems of retirement, is clear 
from our analysis of the situation. A number of smaller concerns 
state that all the systems proposed were "too complicated to be 
practical for their purposes," "that it required an expenditure on 
the part of the company which it could not meet." Many different 
objections are given with regard to the establishment of pension 
systems. Some of the most interesting ones are the following: A 
large shoe manufacturing concern states: "From a casual obser- 
vation we believe it is very hard to get a small concern to establish 
such a system. It would certainly require the co-operation from 
employes, as well as assistance in some form from the State. It 
might be necessary for the State to make this compulsory that the 
employe co-operate with the employer to establish such a system. 
It occurs to us that this ought to be a State affair and not left to 
small corporations to take up and look after. Small corporation.^ 
do not have the officers and equipment to devise and handle such 
!i system as far as our information goes." 

And not only is a state pension system advocated, but some go 
even further and advocate a national system. The president of a 
large glass company in the western part of the State says: "W;' 
believe in the pension system, but we think it should be a national 
movement, for the reason that any pension we would pay would 
necessarily come out of earnings. If the State undertakes to tax 
or otherwise enforce pension laws, it might Avork a hardship on 
manufacturers within the State, as the competition they would meet 
would probably be from factories located in other States where no 
such tax or expense was involved. If all States had the pension 
system it would put all factories and mills on an equality." 



142 

Ou the othei' hand, one concern states that "The persons to whom 
we give pensions and the amounts given to them have always been 
considered a private matter between ourselves and our former 
empldjL's and we thei'efore do not care to divulge this information." 

About tweui3'-live of the large concerns in the State report thai 
although they have uo regular pension provisions they always take 
care of each case. The following statements illustrate the typical 
ways and means employed and the general consideration given in 
providing for worn out, faithful employes. 

One corporation states that it "has made it a practice for many 
years to provide for men who are retired by reason of old age or 
disability who have been many years in the service of the company, 
provided, tiiey or their families are in need of financial assistance." 

A number of companies state either that "we do consider individ- 
ual cases when the circumstances are exceptional and we have a 
dozen or two .such people on our jiay loll"; or again "we have in 
soiiK/ instaiK'CK pensioned sujierannuated employes. None on pav 
roll at llie pi'esent in PennsyJvanJa" ; and furtlier "we are not a par- 
ticularly large company. In some cases they are retired on full 
pay, other.s half pay, and in other cases we give nothing at all, 
depending on tlie financial conditions of the party concerned." 

Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. reports that "Each case is talien up 
and decided upon its merits, depending upon the number of years 
employed and the fidelity and usefulness of the employe; some being 
retained upon 1he pay roll during their natural life and others being 
paid a certain per cent, of their earnings for life." 

Similarly, a nuniljer of others roport: "Each case stands for 
itself and pension is based on the length of service and fidelity of 
emi)loye" ; or that "We treat each case individually and consider this 
to be the best method." On the other hand, numerous concerns 
.state that "While we have been endeavoring to take care of our 
old emi)loyes we heartily approve of the general idea of this cliar- 
acter and would \)e pleased to hear if any general plan develops 
under j^overnmental regulations." And still many more concerns 
write that they ^,^-ould be very glad to "have you post us to what 
is being done." "to co-operate in working out a ]ilnn which would be 
practical" or "to receive any literature and report your Commission 
is issuing." 

One concern is guided in the granting of pensions to its employes 
by (1) number of years of service (2) number of years of continu- 
ous service (3) actual need of emploj'e and (4) amount earned dur- 
ing previous 1en yenrs of emjjloy. Another explains: "Where 
em])loye has been with us for many years, we handle the matter 
according to the merits of each individual case. Where they were 
unable to do work, a monthly remittance was made them sufficient 



143 

to their needs, and at their death, in each instance, a substantial 
check was given ample to cover funeral expenses and incidentals 
for a period thereafter." And further, another one reports that 
"The pensioning or retirement is based entirely upon a man's faith- 
fulness in the service of the company. Have at the present time 
nine men, some dating as far back as January lllth, 1918, who receive 
half pay." 

That each system must be adapted to the particular character of 
the concern may be evident from this letter which states: "We 
have been for some time working on a system which would fit into 
our case better than any system used by others." 

About fifteen large concerns report that although they have 
neither a regular pension system nor definitely marked out princi- 
ples by which they take care of their old employes, they still make 
an efCort to keep their superannuated workers till the end of their 
days by providing easier work for them. Thus one company find- 
ing that an "employe cannot be utilized in one position," tries to 
find something that he could do, "so as to help him along" but always, 
only "when a man has been faithful and with the company for con- 
siderable length of time." The work given to such men is stated 
by another one to be such "as watchman, gateman, etc." 

One company reports that it is their habit "to place our men in 
so called pension jobs ratlier than relieve them from all activity" 
and it adds, "There are a few such men at this plant who seem to be 
contented and happier when occupied." 

The following are typical methods applied. One concern "arranges 
for a transfer to a lighter occupation or retirement with a satis- 
factory bonus basis optional to the employe." Another one "made 
it a rule for all those aged in the service to make their duties such 
as would be easy for them and in nearly all cases continue them 
at the same wages they received previously, till death." 

The "oldest plant in western Pennsylvania," reports that on 
account of its location, "in a small town, most of our employes 
have been with us for a considerable period of time, the majority 
of them, however, leaving us at different times to take employment 
elsewhere and afterwards returning to us." This company takes 
care "of old employes incapacitated for regular work by creating 
jobs for them around the plant, paying them flO per month whether 
they work or not, unless absence is caused by drunkeness, or volun- 
tary absence. Most of these men are away about thirty per cent, 
of "the time under pay. Where they cannot do even this they are 
retired at -$15 per month." 

It is evident from our preceding summary that for the great 
majority of large concerns in Pennsylvania, the problem of whax 
to do with worn out wage earners, has been, and still is a real one. 



144 

Numerous concerns have committees working on this subject at the 
present time. In a number of establishments where a regular sys- 
tem was deemed impracticable or could not be afforded, different 
measures such as a transfer to lighter and easier work or 
some definite plan for the care of superannuated employes were 
resorted to. 

It is also obvious, however, that in spite of the admitted signifi- 
cance of the problem by many of the far-sighted corporations, it can 
hardly be expected that the industries themselves will solve it. 
Although generally considered of paramount industrial importance, 
we still find somewhat more than seventy large concerns in the State, 
to whom our letters were addressed, replying that not only have they 
no regular system of relief for their old workers but that they have 
never considered such plans; and, judging from the meagerness of 
their replies, are apparently not interested in the problem of assist- 
ing and providing for their faithful but old employes. 

It may not be amiss in this connection, to give an idea of some 
of the other forms of relief and benefit associations which may or 
may not include old age provisions, established by many large indus- 
trial concerns in the State. The following few may be selected as 
typical: A well known cigar company reports of this plan: "We 
encourage the purchasing of stock in this Company, as a means of 
providing for old age. This stock, while valued at considerable 
above par, is ofl;ered at par and payments are arranged for, accord- 
ing to the earning capacity of the eniploye. All employes who have 
been on our pay-roll more than two years are paid their full salary 
during any period of incapacity due to illness. In the event of 
permanent incapacity a special arrangement is made. Two cases 
of this kind were adjusted and in each case an arrangement of half 
salary was made. All married men are insured at Company's 
expense, for one, two or three thousand dollars based on length of 
service." Another concern reports: "In 1912 we distributed 
some $50,000 among certain mill employes of the Company for faith- 
ful and long continued service, who had been with us fifteen years 
and upward. The method used was based on length of service and 
the amounts varied from |2,000 to |500 each. While this did not 
establish a precedent, it is just possible that at some future time a 
similar distribution may be made." 

A number of concerns have either "an aid association whereby 
the men contribute monthly a certain sum and their estate receives 
an amount should they be injured or die" ; or as is reported by one, 
"There are two institutions here which operate for the benefit of 
injured employes and those who die during service. These are 
organizations with voluntary membership and are conducted by the 
employes themselves with our assistance." And again another 



145 

states, "We have three employes who served us faithfully for many 
years. We pay two of these at the rate of |1 per working day and 
11.50 to one. We have given the matter a little thought but reached 
no definite conclusion, decided these simply as a means of express- 
ing our appreciation of the service the men had rendered to us." 



(2) RAILROAD PENSION SYSTEMS IN PENNSYLVANIA. 

The railroads were the first in this country to establish retire- 
ment systems for their employes. This is, doubtless, explained by 
the fact that railroad employes are very often required to be under 
-the most prolonged tension of both mind and body. Men in modem 
transportation systems are subject to greater hazards and wear out 
more rapidly than in many other branches of industry. With the 
rapid and unprecedented development of the American railroads, 
the problem of what to do with the superannuated worker loomed 
up earlier in this industry than in any other. Railroads in this 
country have therefore begun to establish private retirement systems 
at the same time when European governments have been engaged in 
instituting systems of public pensions and insurance. 



146 



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154 

The number of companies and the extent of pensions established 
by railroads in Pennsylvania are found in table 68. This table 
was ascertained from more than one hundred letters of inquiry — 
similar to the ones sent to the large industrial concerns — addressed 
to all railroads operating M'holly or partly within the boundaries 
of this Commonwealth. Of these, 8.1 per cent, responded. 

It will be observed from table no. G8 that the main development 
in railroad pensions did not begin until the early days of the pres- 
ent century. The Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad has, according to all 
the evidence, the distinction of introducing the industrial private 
pension system in this country. It established its pension fund in 
1889 — the same year when the government pension scheme was 
adopted in Germany. More than a decade passed before the next 
railroad — The Pennsylvania — in this State, saw the necessity of 
following the example. The great majority of the railroads operat- 
ing wholly or partly in this State have established a regular system 
of pensioning, only within the last ten years. 

What is true of the industrial concerns is evidently true of all 
the hailroads, namely: the administration of these funds is either 
under the direct control of the board of directors of the various 
companies, or by a board appointed by them, or by the president of 
the railroad. The only exception to this is the Baltimore and Ohio 
Fund — which requires four years membership in the Belief Fund — 
and which is controlled hy the same executive committee as the lat- 
ter department. Such absolute control is readily explained by the 
fact that in no case do employes make any contributions to these 
funds, with the exception, of course, of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road. The payments are entirely gratuitous, on the part of the 
company, for faithful services rendered, and the funds are therefore 
controlled by them. 

As is the case with the industrial concerns, a compulsory and vol- 
untary age of retirement is provided also in the railroad systems. 
With but two exceptions the former is seventy years. The period 
of service required before an employe can retire on a pension is 
varied. It ranges from ten years with a number of railroads, to 
thirty years required by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. 
Where the shorter period of service is specified it is generally pro- 
vided that no person is eligible to a pension who enters the service 
after 40 or 45 years of age. In a few cases the age of eligibility 
to service is as low as 35 years of age. The larger period of serv- 
ice before a pension can actually be secured is obviously the pre- 
vailing one. 

It may be interesting to note here, the differences in the term of 
service required by the industrial concerns and the various rail- 
roads in ilie State. Twentv-five vcars of seivice is the maximum set 



155 



by the different industrial establishments. Many require twenty 
or fifteen years of service and at least two companies require only 
ten years of service. This is to be contrasted with twenty-five and 
thirty years of service generally specified or implied by the rail- 
roads. The explanation of this may lie not only in the fact that the 
labor turnover is much greater with the former, but also because 
railroad lines are more anxious and adapted to retain in the service, 
as long as possible, their experienced and well trained employes. 

With the exception of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, practically 
all the railroads have an identical method of computing the annui- 
ties awarded. Most of the railroads provide for 1 per cent, of tlie 
average monthly wages earned for the ten years next preceding retire- 
ment, multiplied by the number of years of service. Only the Buffalo 
Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad Company awards a regular pen- 
sion equal to 2 per cent, of the average montlily wages computed ia 
the same way. With the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 
where membership in the Relief Fund is required, it is provided that 
"each pensioner shall receive a daily allowance, excluding Sundays, 
equal to one-half the benefits provided to be paid for sickness, under 
tlie Regulations of the Relief Feature, to a member of the class to 
which the pensioner would, while in the service, have been assigned 
under said Regulations, had he been required to become a full member 
ui' said Feature. In the case of a pensioner who has been continu- 
ously a member of the Relief Feature of the Baltimore and Ohio Em- 
ployes' Relief Association fifteen years, this allowance will be in- 
creased by the addition of five per cent, thereof; and a like addition 
will be made for each additional term of five consecutive years of 
3uch membership.'' 

The following table shows in brief the amount of allowance to 
pensioners: 





P. 


ii 






a|s 


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$0.26J 
62i 


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75 


.V8J 


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1.10 
1.37J 






[•hose contributing- under reliel feature to class E, 


1.25 


l.Sli 



Although a great number of establishments do not provide for 
sither maximum or minimum pensions, two hundred and fifty dol- 
ars per month seems to be the limit set for the former while five 
loUars per month is that set for the latter. 



156 

With the majority of railroad pension establishments, the differ- 
ence between the age when one is compelled to retire and the period 
when one may retire voluntarily on account of physical incapacity, 
is only a question of the last live ye;irs. Se\euty being the age of 
compulsory retirement, it is usually pro\ided that an employe may 
retire on account of physical incapacity between the ages of 65 and 
69. The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh, and the Delaware and 
Lackawanna Eailroads provide for the latter retirement from 60 
ou. A few companies, however, provide no age or service, and leave 
it to the discretion of the Board of Directors to decide upon the 
merits of the individual case. Only the Western Maryland Kail- 
road Company requires no definite period of service in retiring an 
employe on account of unfitness for duty. With most of the con- 
cerns, a period of twenty to thirty years of service is required before 
an .employe is entitled to a Company annuity. Excepting one estab- 
lishment, the method of computing the annuity on account of 
physical incapacity follows the same manner as the regular one, 
i. e. by multiplying the percentage of the monthly wages by the num- 
ber of years of service. 

Only three or four railroads make provisions, by means of pen- 
sions, for employes who have been injured and have become totally 
disabled while performing their duties. These few concerns state 
that an employe, in case of injury or total disability, may be pen- 
sioned regardless of his age or length of service. The majority of 
cc^mpanies, however, make no provisions for such employes before 
they have completed the required period of service. 

The railroad companies as well as the industrial concerns, gen- 
erally state that the granting of a pension does not debar an 
employe from engaging in any other business but further specify 
that he cannot re-enter the service of the company. 

The pension funds of the great majority of railroads are fixed at 
a certain amount. It is also provided by practically all of these 
that "when basis of pension allowance shall create demands in 
excess of the sums fixed, a new basis, ratably reducing the pension 
allowances, may be established." 

Some of the additional characteristics generally typical of these 
pension systems may be summarized as follows: In computing the 
length of service it is usually specified that "leave of absence, sus- 
pension or dismissal followed by re-instatement within one year or 
temporary lay-off is not to be considered a break in the continuity 
of service." Practically all companies "reserve the right to termi- 
nate pensions for gross misconduct" and "reserve right and privi- 
lege to discharge from service at any time any employe without 
liability to pension." Some state that "employes who are dismissed 
from or voluntarily leave the service of the company for any cause 



157 

i'hatsoever relinquish all claims to consideration or pension allow- 
mces." One states that "employes forfeit claims to pensions when 
eaving service under strike orders." 

The number of former employes on the pension rolls of the differ- 
i.t railroads in I'enit.sylvania is given in table no. 68. These were 
he figures prevailing during the Spring of 1918. The number of 
)ensioners on the rolls of the Pennsylvania Railroad East of Pitts- 
mrgh cannot be definitely obtained. However, associated in th(i 
idministration of the Pension Feature, besides the Pennsylvania 
Railroad's Eastern Lines are: the West Jersey and Sea Shore 
Railroad Company ; Philadelphia and Camden Ferry Company and 
lie New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Companies. These 
employes are operating within the States of Pennsylvania, New York, 
[STew .Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of 
Columbia. At the end of December 1917, the total number of 
?niployes on the pension roll in all these States numbered 3,801. 
.Assuming that most of these pensioners are residing in the State 
[ti Pennsylvania, it is obvious that the total number of aged employes 
provided with railroad service pensions in this State hardly exceeds 
i,000 men.* 

In addition to the railroads listed in the preceding table, the fol- 
lowing companies are subsidiaries of the U. S. Steel Corporation. 
The employes here participate in the benefits provided by the U. S. 
Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund. These companies are the Besse- 
mer and Lake Erie Railroad Company, Etna and Montrose Rail- 
road Company, Pittsburgh and Ohio Valley Railroad Company, 
Monongahela Southern Railroad Company, Donora Southern Rail- 
road Company, and Pencoyed and Philadelphia Railroad Company. 

The Waynesboro and Washington Railroad Company is governed 
by the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Lines West of 
Pittsburgh in its pension matters. The Chestnut Ridge Railroad 
Company operates under the system of the New Jersey Zinc Com- 
pany, an analysis of which appears in the industrial table. 

Fifty-five of the answers received from the roads having charters 
in Pennsylvania, state that they have no provisions for pensioning 
their employes whatsoever. This, however, is the case only with 
the very small or young railroads. To quote one general manager 
wlio is "personally very much in sympathy" with the plan, "this is 
a small railroad and thus far without sufficient earnings to admit 
of this plan." Another general superintendent writes, that "the 
idea is an excellent one and provides an outlet for superannuated 
employes that cause a great deal of worry to those in charge of 

,-» this Tihase m.ay perhaps hp shed from another anffle of the Commission's work. 

•.Some I'snt "'!,,„ jji^prent ocCOTStions and their relation to the period of impairment, railroad 
Tn its Btndy "' ,.'^„„, " rf„™ the hlffhest accident rate, bnt of all oases InTestiffated not one impair- 

workers hare not "V''' Jt ,jj ^^■^f.^ words to continnity of service. The health and earning power 

ment was diie to ^^^^|^^ g^e impaired before BO years of age on acconnt of Bickness or accident. 



158 

organizations where men settle down more than they do with us." 
Reassuring us of his hearty co-operation in the matter he states 
the reasons for not adopting any definite system of pensioning, 
"Eailroad organizations like ours have a heavy turnover of employes 
annually; as railway switchmen are quite migratory in character 
and disposition and seldom stay long with strictly switching roads." 
Another letter states frankly: "Our net earnings for the year 1917, 
after payment of all expenses amounted to the small sum of fifty 
dollars." 

On the other hand, a number of even smaller railroads, although 
not having regular established systems of pensioning, report of 
individual schemes adopted or generally followed in taking care of 
their aged workers. Thus one railroad in the eastern part of the 
State while reporting that "the question of pensioning au employe 
is simply a matter for tlie consideiation and decision of the officers 
of the company," further advises that "at the present time this 
company has forty-seven pensioned employes in the State of Penn- 
sylvania who receive an aggregate of $884.29 per month. 

Another railroad with only one pensioner in Pennsylvania reports 
that "our pension sy.stem is discretionary and each case must be 
authorized by the board of directors." The letter further informs 
us that "generally speaking we grant pensions to employes who 
have reached the age of 70 years, and who have been in our service 
for 25 years. The usual basis for pension is determined by allow- 
ing the employe 1% per year for each year of service on his average 
annual wages for the last ten years." 

The Central Railroad of New Jersey, which reports of 45 pen- 
sioners in Pennsylvania, states that in their sj'stem "any employe 
who has been in the service thirty continuous years and has reached 
the age of seventy shall be pensioned. Employes between 65 and 69 
years of age, inclusive, who have been continuously for thirty or 
more years in service and who have become incapacitated may be 
retired and pensioned. And any faithful employe, irrespective of 
age or length of service, who shall have received injuries in the 
performances of his duty which wholly incapacitated him for reg- 
ular or other vocation or who shall through sickness so contracted 
become so incapacitated, may be awarded such sum as a pension 
for such length of time as may be determined." 

Two or three concerns who follow no definite principle in their 
pensioning of aged employes report either that "this matter has 
been decided upon the merits of each individual case" or while stat- 
ing that they have "no regular pension system" assure us that "we 
do care for our old employes and those who may be incapacitated 
from continuing in regular work by providing such other employ- 
ment as is best suited to each individual case." 



159 

The small total number of railroad pensioners in this State, 
actually provided for in tlieir old age, when compared with the num- 
ber of workers engaged in the transportation systems in Pennsylvania 
is even more significant when it is apparent from our preceding exam- 
ination, that practically all the leading railroads, operating partly 
01- wholly within the boundaries of this State, and a great many of 
the smaller roads, have some form or another of provision for their 
aged employes. The fact that only such a negligible number take 
advantage of these pro\isions can only be explained by the fact that 
before a service pension is actually a^^•alded, one must have lived up 
to the most stringent requirements and provisions. 



(3) TEACHEES' EETIBEMENT FUNDS IN ^ENNSYL^'ANIA 



The two primary fvmctions of old age retirement systems are: 
(1) The protection of the individuals and their dependents against 
the contingencies of old age and disability. (2) It provides a means 
of improving the efficiency and raising the standard of the services 
rendered, by eliminating from the service, the superannuated and 
disabled, who are no longer efficient, and by attracting better ability 
into the particular service. It is hardly necessary to point out, that 
nowhere are these functions of greater significance than in our 
educational system. It is of paramount importance that the best 
available talent and ability, and that men and women of superior 
kind should be attracted to our schools for the development of the 
moral character and ideals of our children. Similarly, no one, to 
be sure, will question the justice of providing our teachers — the 
moulders of the future generations — against the day when they are 
no longer able to provide for themselves. 

The problem of relief from superannuation is even more aggra- 
vated in the case of teachers. It is an admitted fact that our 
teachers are not adequately I'emunerated. In many instances, altho 
their wages are on par with the lowest compensated groups, a com- 
paratively high standard of living is required of them. Sufficient 
savin<T for old age under the circumstances is thus out of the ques- 
tion. To this must be added the obvious fact that many in the 
teaching profession — especially is this the case with women teachers 

remain unmarried, and ordinarily, have no one to depend upon 

in their old age. That teachers, living continuously in the dread 
of approaching old age, are not the most desirable persons for the 
instruction and inspiration of our younger generations, is so evi- 



160 

It is rather surprising to learn that altho the United States led 
the world in establishing compulsory educational laws at public 
expense, it is one of the last to make provision for the care and 
relief of superannuated and aged teachers. While Eussia" estab- 
lished a system of relief for its teachers as early as 1819, the first 
such laws in this country did not come until 1893 and 1894 when 
Chicago and New York City teachers secured the passage of such 
laws in their respective legislatures. 

Pennsylvania established its first compulsory educational law in 
1901. The first action with regard to Teachers' Retirement Funds 
came in 1905 when a special act of the legislature providing for 
"the control, administration and support of the common schools 
in the school district of the first class" also provided in Section 6 
of the same act that "A Teachers' Retirement Fund may be created 
by the Board of Public Education, and shall be by them admin- 
istered. The said fund shall consist of all funds available for like 
purposes at the time of the enactment of this law, together with 
such additions thereto as the Board may from time to time pre- 
scribe, and such moneys as may be donated or bequeathed for such 
purposes. Any teacher, principal or supervising official retired by 
the Board of Public Education shall receive from the said Fund 
such annuity as the Board of Public Education may prescribe." 
This fund became operative in Philadelphia on January 1, 1907. 

It was not, however, until May 23, 1907, that the State Assembly 
passed an act "Empowering Boards of School Directors, Boards 
of School Controllers, and Central Boards of Education, in school 
districts of the second and third class, to establish and administer 
a Teachers' Retirement Fund." This act provided "That the Boards 
of School Directors, Boards or School Controllers, and Central 
Boards of Education, in school districts of the second and third 
class, are hereby authorized and empowered to establish and admin- 
ister a Teachers' Retirement Fund. The said Fund shall consist 
of all funds available for like purposes at the time of the enact- 
ment of this law, together Avith such additions thereto as the 
Boards of School Directors, Boards of School Controllers, or Cen- 
tral Boards of Education may, from time to time, prescribe, and 
such moneys as may be donated or bequeathed for such purposes. 

"Section 2. Any teacher, principal, or supervising official, retir- 
ing with the consent of the Boards of School Directors, Boards of 
School Controllers, or Central Boards of Education, shall receive 
from the said fund such annuity as the Boards of School Directors, 
Boards of School Controllers or Central Boards of Education may 
prescribe." 

The act of May 18, 1911, which was amended on April 21, 1915, 
makes further provision that "The Board of School Directors of 



161 

any district in this Commonwealth, is hereby authorized and 
empowered to establish, contribute to, and administer as herein 
provided, a Teachers' Eetirement Fund. The said Fund shaU con- 
sist of all funds available for like purposes in said district at the 
time of the enactment of this law, together with such additions 
thereto as the Board of School Directors may, from time to time, 
appropriate for that purpose from the funds of the district, and 
such moneys or other property as may be donated, bequeathed, 
devised, or received from any other source for such purpose. 

"Section 2402. The Board of School Directors of any district 
may provide, in the contracts with its teachers, princijials, or super- 
vising officials, that they shall contribute a reasonable sum from 
their salaries each year to said retirement fund: Provided, That 
no person shall be required to contribute any part of his salary to 
any Eetirement Fund, unless the same is provided for in the con- 
tract by which he is engaged. 

"Section 2403. Where the teachers, principals, or supervising 
official of any district contribute to any retirement fund, they shall 
be represented in making the regulations governing it, and in its 
control and management. 

"Section 2404. Every teacher, principal, or supervising official 
who retires in accordance with the regulations prescribed shall be 
entitled to such annuity as said regulations provide." 

Since these laws were passed, only eight cities of the third class 
have established such funds. Only one of the minor school districts 
has such a system wliile of the second class cities, Pittsburgh, 
since January 1, 1917, has had Jio Teachers' I'etirement Fund in 
operation. All told, there are at present only eleven cities in Penn- 
sylvania having Teachers' Eetirement Systems in force. 



162 



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171 

A summary of the existing funds now in operation, as found in 
nble no. 69, reveals the following: 

The administration of the different retirement funds is generally 
r. the hands of a retirement board consisting of five or seven mem- 
•ers. As a rule these boards are controlled by the Board of School 
directors and the superintendents of the different schools. The 
■epresentation of the teachers on these boards usually consists of 
wo or three persons depending whether the board is composed of 
ive or seven members respectively. In Lancaster, however, the 
seven members of the Board of Directors are elected annually by 
:he teachers from the charter members. The Erie plan, established 
n 1916, — the last one adopted in Pennsylvania — vests the manage- 
nent of the Retirement System in a board of five members, "two 
nembers elected by the Retirement Association, the chairmen of the 
committees on 'finance and property' and 'instruction' of the Board 
)f School Directors and one other elected by these four." 

Where the age of retirement is fixed, it is generally between 60 
md 65 years. A somewhat lower age period for women is often 
provided. 

Thirty years of service, twenty of which are to be in the local 
school district, is generally required in order to be eligible for a 
retirement annuity. The City of Lancaster, however, requiies a 
period of thirty-five years of service, twenty-five of which are to be 
in the Lancaster schools. On the other hand, in Pittsburgh, only 
twenty-five years of service were required, while Erie and Altoona 
make no specification as to the minimum number of years in serv- 
ice necessary for retirement. Scranton and Williamsport require 
Duly fifteen years of service in the local schools out of the thirty 
vears of service specified for retirement. 

With but one or two exceptions, membership to these funds is 
compulsory for all teachers. 

The income of the retirement funds is in practically all casPK 
derived from three general sources. The contributions of the 
teachers themselves; appropriations from the different school 
boards; and whatever is derived from accrued interest, donations, 
legacies, bequests and so forth. In most systems the teachers' 
contributions to the funds amount to from 1 to 3"^ of their animal 
salaries. These are usually graded in accordance with the number 
of years in the service; the contribution being highest for those 
longest in the service. Erie teachers however, pay as high as 5% 
of their annual salary, the minimum being .|35 per annum. In 
Scranton all teachers contribute |15 per year irrespective of serv- 
ice. Teachers in Lancaster and Reading pay straight sums varying 
From five to fifteen dollars per year in direct proportion to their 

:„« r»Ti1-iT nr> tho Pitfshnrcrh Tenphers' 'RptirpmeTi+ 



172 

Fund, which was abandoned early in 1917, did teachers make no 
contributions whatsoever. In that city, the Board of Education 
paid a flat pension of live hundred dollars per year after twenty- 
live years of service. 

The appropriations of the different school boards to these retire- 
ment funds are usually, "an additional amount equal to at least the 
amounts contributed by the teachers." A number of school boards 
also provide an appropriation sufficient to cover the expense of 
administering these funds. 

Before a teacher can retire on an annuity, it is practically every- 
where specified that he or she must have made at least twenty-five 
or thirty annual payments to the fund. When this is not the case, 
the amount of contributions, still unpaid, is deducted from the 
annuity. 

Six cities provide pension annuities equal to one-half the annual 
salary at date of retirement. Some cities however, pay straight 
sums ranging from three hundred dollars to fiive hundred dollars 
per year. The pensions of Altoona teachers are computed by tak- 
ing 2% of the average pay for the last ten years multiplied by the 
number of years of service. In Erie there are two classes of mem- 
bers. Class A, — those in the service on or before June 5, 1916; and 
Class B, — those entering the service after June 5, 1916. A mem- 
ber in Class A, "retiring at age of 60 years or over, shall be entitled 
to receive from the annuity fund the annuity purchasable by his 
contributions, with regular interest thereon, together with an equal 
amount from the pension fund ; and if such member shall have 
served in the public schools not less than fifteen years immediately 
preceding retirement, or in the case of such a member whose total 
service in the public schools of Erie is not less than thirty years, 
at least ten of which shall have immediately preceded retirement, 
he shall be entitled to receive from the pension fund an additional 
amount sufficient to make the retirement allowance equal to the 
annuity that would have accrued if he had made thirty contribu- 
tions not in excess of |100 each at the rate of 5% of his average 
salary for the five years immediately preceding retirement if such 
sums had been invested annually at 4% compound interest; if the 
amount so computed is less than $300, the retiring member shall 
be entitled to receive from the pension fund an additional amount 
sufficient to make the total amount $300." 

A member in Class B, "retiring at age sixty years or over, 
shall be entitled to receive from the annuity fund the annuity 
purchasable by his contributions with regular interest thereon, 
together with an equal amount from the pension fund." 

A minimum and maximum amount of annuities is established in 
maiiT cases. The lowest minimum is found in Williamsport with 



173 

$250 per year, while Pittsburgh has the highest with |500 per year. 
The maximum annuity set, varies from $300 per annum in 
Reading, to |1,000 in Philadelphia. 

In case of mental or physical incapacity partial annuities are 
generally provided. These are computed by taking as many 
thirtieths of a full annuity as the number of years of service. 
A minimum period of service is usually required even for the grant- 
ing of partial annuities. This latter period varies from five years 
in most cities to twenty-five years required in Lancaster. 

In practicalljr all retirement systems, provision is made for both 
compulsory and optional retirement age periods. The latter is 
usually given at the discretion of the Board of School Directors, 
during the five years preceding the compulsory retirement age, to 
those having fulfilled tlie necessary period of service. 

Besides the cities enumerated in table no. 69, there is also a 
Teachers' Retirement Fund in Chester. The only information 
secured from that city is that the age for retirement is sixty years 
and that "there are at present four teachers on pensions. Two 
receive annual pensions of f357.24, one $359.16 and another one 
1312.60." 

"At the present time," writes the superintendent of schools in 
Pittsburgh "we have no. Teachers' Retirement System in operation 
in connection with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, but the Board 
of Education and the teachers are awaiting the making vital of the 
present State Teachers' Pension Law by an adequate appropriation 
at the coming session of the State Legislature." 

"Prior to January 1st, 1917, we did have a pension plan whereby 
teachers who had been in the employ of the Board of Education 
for at least twenty-five years were eligible to retirement, by the 
Board, on a flat pension of |500 per year, — the Board of Education 
paying the full amount out of the general school funds." 

"No rules were made governing the operation of the above plan. 
Each case was acted upon on its own merits, and a teacher was 
permitted to retire only when tlie Board approved of such retire- 
ment, and when retiring the teacher was placed upon our pension 
pay-roll at the rate of |500 per year, — which amount was paid to 
the teacher in twelve equal installments." 

"At the present time we are now carrying on our pension service 
list, one hundred and five retired teachers to whom we pay .152,500 
per year in the aggregate amount." 

In Philadelphia, besides the regular retirement fund, there exists 
also,, the Elkin Fund, a private endowment, administered by the 
Board of Public Education. "Under the provisions of this endow- 
ment as thus administered, unmarried female teachers who have 
served at least twenty-five years in the public schools of Philadel- 



174 

phia, and who are physically or mentally incapacitated for teach- 
ing and whose private income does not exceed four hundred dol- 
l.a-s, may lie retiied upon an annuity of four hundred dollars." The 
rules and regulations of the Itetirement Fund also provide that 
"supplementary annuities which shall not exceed four hundred dol- 
lars may at the discretion of the Retirement Board be given to con- 
tributors who shall become annuitants under the Elkin Fund; but 
shall in no case exceed the difference between four hundred dol- 
lars and the total private income of the annuitant from any source 
or sources whatsoever other than the Elkin Fund annuity." 

Among the other general characteristics of these funds are the 
following: Annuities cease upon marriage of an annuitant or on 
recovery from disability. This usually does not apply to annui- 
tants retired on length of service. It is also generally provided— 
as is the case with most private pension systems — that in case of 
insufficient funds, a pro rata reduction in annuities may be estab- 
lished. 

There may be little gain in further discussing the merits or 
demerits of these funds. The success of these retirement systems 
may be evidenced from the following facts. Since the Act of 
Assembly of 1907, only twelve cities in Pennsylvania have established 
systems of retirement funds for their teachers. The one in Pitts- 
burgh was dissolved early in 1917. The superintendent of schools 
in another city states "that the fund is not sufficient to take care 
of the whole number of teachers in the city who ought to be receiv- 
ing pensions." From an actuarial survey made of the Philadelphia 
Fund, writes an associate superintendent: "Tt has been found that it , 
will be necessary to revise the provisions of the fund in order to 
place it njion a sound basis." At a meeting held in October, the 
teachers' representatives of the Erie Eetirement System "spoke in 
favor of joining the State body as the latter offers several advan- 
tages which can never be duplicated by the Erie School District" 
The efficacy of these funds may also be apparent from the fact that 
the total number of teachers receiving pensions, in one form or 
another, during the winter and spring of 1917, did not exceed 624 
(including Chester).* The total annual amount expended on these 
was approximately S2S-t,2.^7.64. 

The inadequacy and deficiencies of the systems in operation at 
present are generally recognized. Tt is as a result of this recogni- 
tion that the Legislature, in 1917, established a state wide system 
of Public School Emploves' Retirement Fund. 



♦Tn fidrlitiOTi to this nijmber thpre were also In 1917. thirty-one tedohers in the State receiT- 
injr ppn=iions from the Cainegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Tliese pensions 
are ffivpn only to teacliers in colleges, tmiyersities,' technical schools and so forth. 



Tm 

The provisions of this bill, which becomes operative July 1919, are 
summarized as follows:* "The act establishes a Retirement Sys- 
tem for teachers and other employes of the public school system 
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The system will include: 

"1. All 'present employes' who are not members of existing local 
retirement systems maintained wholly or in part from appropri- 
ations or public moneys and who elect to become members of the 
State system prior to July 1, 1919. 

"2. All 'present employes' \y\xo are members of local systems and 
who elect through a two-third vote of the membership of the local 
association with the approval of the local school board to merge 
the local association with the State system. 

"3. All 'new entrants' (i. e., those who enter the service after 
July 18, 1917) who do not become members of local retirement 
associations. 

II. HOW THE SYSTEM WILL BE MANAGED. 

"The management of the system is vested in a Eetiiement Board, 
which is assisted by the Board of School Directors by whom the 
employes are paid. 

"1. The Retirement Board is to be constituted as follows: (a) 
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction; (b) The State 
Treasurer; (c) One member appointed by the Governor; (d) Three 
members of the Retirement Association elected from among their 
number; (e) A seventh member not an employe of the public school 
nor an officer or employe of the State to be elected by the other six. 

"2. The chief duties of the Retirement Board will be: (a) To 
keep the system actuarially sound; (b) To invest and manage the 
reserve and savings funds created by tlie act; (c) To grant retire- 
ment allowances as provided by the act. 

"3. The chief assistance rendered by the school directors will 
consist in: (a) Furnishing the Retirement Board with the infor- 
mation and records as required in the act, and (b) Making the 
deductions from salaries of employes certified by the Retirement 
Board. 

III. HOW THE FUND WILL BE MAINTAINED. 

"The funds of the system are to be established upon a reserve 
basis the cost being divided between the employes, the State and 
the school district as follows : 

"1. Contributions hy the employes. (a) The employes who 
become members of the Retirement Association will be required to 

ij^om a summary by OliTer P. Comman, Chairman of the LegislatiTe Committee of the 
State Kdacatlonal Association. 



17t) 

pay a definite percentage of their yearly salary.* This percentage 
will be determined by their sex and age at the time they begin to 
make contributions. The rates will vary from slightly more than 
tliree per cent, to nearly seven per cent. 

"(b) The rates of contribution will be computed by the use of 
mortality tables, interest tables, and other actuarial data. The 
initial rate paid by the employe will continue unchanged until 
retirement unless it should be altered at the time of actuarial reval- 
uation which are provided for in the act. 

"(c) The rate of annual contribution for each 'new entrant' 
must be such that when 62 years of age is attained the reserve 
accumulated in the individual savings account will be sufficient 
to purchase approximately one-half the retirement allowance which 
is provided for the employe by the terms of the act. The cost of 
that allowance is determined by the average final salary upon 
which it is based and upon the length of time the annuity will 
be drawn as shown by the mortality table. 

"(d) The rate of contributions of employes who have 'prior serv- 
ice' at the time the act goes into effect must be such that their 
accumulated savings fund will be sufficient to purchase one-half 
of the superannuation allowance due on account of future service, 
and the State and school districts will provide the total retiring 
allowance due to the prior service. 

"(e) Employes whose rates of contributions are over 5 per cent, 
have the option of T-educing the rate to 5 per cent, and receiving 
at retirement the proportionately smaller annuities that their sav- 
ings will purchase. 

"(f) Employes' contributions are placed in the distinct and sep- 
arate fund, called the Annuity Savings Fund. Each employe's 
contributions are placed in his or her individual account and may 
be withdrawn if the contributor leaves the service without purchas- 
ing a retirement allowance. 

"2. Goiiirihiitions hy the State and school districts, (a) The 
State and the school districts will each pay one-quarter of the cost 
of the superannuation allowance which is dependent upon service 
rendered after the bill takes effect, and they will each pay one-half 
the cost of the superannuation allowance dependent upon service 
rendered prior to the establishment of the retirement system. 

"(b) The State and school districts will each pay one-half the 
cost of that part of the disability allowance which the accumulated 
deductions of the disabled employe do not provide. 

"(c) The contributions of the State and of the school districts 
will be made in the folloAving way: Contributions for employes in 



♦Contributions are not to be paid nor retirement allowances computed upon that part of ttie 
salary of any employe -which is in excess of $2000.00 per annum. 



177 

service at the establishment of the fund will be provided for by a 
series of payments amounting annually to about 5.6 per cent, of 
the pay roil of those who contribute. This will distribute the accu- 
mulation of "State Annuity Reserve Fund No. 2" over about thirty 
years after which time this contribution will be no longer neces- 
sary. In addition there will be provided a certain percentage of 
the salary of each entrant into the service after the retirement 
system is established. What that percentage shall be will depend 
upon the age at entrance. Assuming an average age at entrance 
of 23 years for the entire service, the contributions thus provided 
would amount annually to about 2.56 per cent, of the salaries of 
men entrants and 2.80 per cent, of the salaries of women entrants. 

"(d) The contributions of the school (Jistrict on behalf of those 
of its employes who become members of the Retirement Associa- 
tion may be made indirectly; the State being authorized to deduct 
the amount due the retirement systems from the total State appro- 
priation for schools due the local district. The school district, 
therefore, will not be required to make its contribution from the 
money raised by local school taxes. 

"(e) The State will contribute the administrative expenses of 
the system. 

IV. THE CONDITIONS OF RETIREMENT. 

"The benefits accruing to contributors to the system and the age 
and other conditions of retirement are as follows: 

"1. Superannuation benefit, (a) Age for retirement: A super- 
annuation allowance is granted upon the application of a con- 
tributor who has attained age 62. Retirement is compulsory at 
age 70. 

"(b) Amount of allowance: The amount of the allowance is 
equal approximately to l-80th of the average salary* of the ten 
years immediately preceding retirement, multiplied by the number 
of school years the contributor has rendered service in the State. 
Should the employe where the rate exceeds 5 per cent, elect to 
reduce his or her contributions to 5 per cent, the amount of the 
allowance provided by the employe is reduced proportionately. 
The employe may elect also to take a sinaller allowance and pro- 
vide that it be continued to dependents. Provision is made in the 
act for other options of equivalent actuarial value. 

"2 DisaUUty benefit, (a) Conditions of retirement: A disa- 
bility allowance is granted to contributors who are found by exam- 
ination at any time after ten years of service to be physically or 

— ,^ i. _. .TO not to be paid nor retirement allowances computed upon that part of the 

Bala??"ot"ny employe which is In excess of $2,000 per annum. 



178 

mentally incapacitated for duty. Employes drawing disability 
allowances who are under 62 years of age must submit to periodic 
examinations to determine whether disabilities have been removed, 
Those who recover are to re-enter the service or to have their allow- 
ances reduced. 

"(b) Amount of disability allowance: The amount of the benefit 
is one-ninetieth of the average salary* of the ten years immediately 
preceding retirement, multiplied by the number of years of serv- 
ice that the employe has rendered. The minimum allowance is 30 
per cent, of final salary except that it must not exceed eight-ninths 
of the amount of which the employe would have received had he 
or she remained in service to obtain a superannuation allowance. 

"8. Refund benefit. To contributors who leave the service with- 
out a retirement allowance, or to the estate of contributors who died 
in the service, full return of contributions is made with four per 
cent, compound interest. Contributors may elect, in lieu of the 
refund benefit, an annuity or deferred annuity of the actuarial 
equivalent of their accumulated contributions." 

This new system, although claimed to be "one of the few in this 
country founded upon a scientific basis and built up in accordance 
with the most modern principles of finance and legislation," is 
criticised by some students with regard to the following: It is 
claimed that the allowance, consisting of 1-1 60th of the final salary 
for each year of service, is open to objection because the taking 
of the final salary only as the basis, exposes the system to abuses. 
It is also argued that the provision that the State shall be reim- 
bursed by the employers of the teachers to the extent of one-half 
paid by it to meet the future cost of pensions, while primarily 
intended to interest the local employers in the welfare of the 
teachers and to distribute the cost is exposed to the danger, that 
since the State may reimburse itself out of money due to local 
educational authorities for school purposes, the school expenditures 
may be crippled to that extent. Students of the question also point 
out that if the State desires to share the cost in the system it should 
not have been done at the expense of the schools. The fear is 
expressed that the burden of the expense may tend to discourage 
local authorities from raising the salaries of teachers and lead 
to the employment of only low salaried teachers, and to this extent, 
negate one of the prime principles embodied in the entire system— 
the attracting of better ability. 

Admitting these shortcomings and imperfections it is evident, 
however, that any form of a state wide pension system is superior 
to individual local funds. The teachers everywhere in this State 

*Contributions are not to be paid nor retirement allowances computed upon that part of the 
salary of any employe which Is in excess of $2,000.00 per annum. 



179 

are, from all evidences, heartily in favor of the new system. The 
poi)ularity of the new act may be seen by the fact that by February, 
1919, ten out of the twelve local teachers' retirement funds have 
merged with the State Fund. The others will probably have joined 
before this report is out of press. In addition to the local funds, 
30,000 individual teachers had made application to join the fund by 
the same date. 

The sentiment of the teachers now in the different local funds 
may perhaps be judged from the following replies made to our 
inquiry with reference to the same: The secretary of one school 
board writes: "Up to date our teachers have taken no action in the 
matter, but there is a very active committee urging the teachers to 
endorse the bill and go into the State Fund instead of continuing 
our present pension fund." 

"So far as my own personal opinion is concerned, I would say 
that there are many points in the State bill that are an advantage 
over the system that we have and I cannot see how our teachers 
^^'0uld be injured in any way by going into the State Fund." 

Mr. Oliver P. Cornman of the Philadelphia Public Board of Edu- 
cation writes: "So far as I have been able to learn, the teachers and 
other school employes heartily endorse the Retirement System and 
a large majority of the 'present employes' will elect to become 
members of the Retirement Association. Philadelphia teachers 
will have to choose between revising their local systems (which 
will carry with it a considerable increase in the rates of contribu- 
tion) or merging with the State system. The matter of the State 
Retirement System has been placed before the 'other employes' of 
the Philadelphia system and a large portion of them have made 
application for membership in the Retirement Association." 



(4) MUNICIPAL EMPLOYES' PENSION SYSTEMS. 



From the standpoint of the taxpayer the problem of the aged 
municipal employe is of paramount importance. There can be 
no greater waste of the taxpayer's money than the retention, 
in our state and municipal service, of men who have outlived their 
usefulness. To continue in the employ of our cities at full wages, 
old men and old women, who are no longer capable of rendering 
efficient service, is not only a waste of money but in addition has 
a demoralizing influence upon the entire service. It is also a fact, 
only too well known, that, because of political influences, our State, 



180 

Gouuty aud City govermuents are burdened with an overwhelming 
number of superannuated workers who have lost their effectiveness 
in discharging their duties and who are known to be ineflftcient.* 

The constantly increasing volume of work and the introduction 
of new methods and higher standards of efficiency into the admin- 
istration of our municipalities, necessitate the establishment of 
some process which will relieve the municipalities from the "dead 
weight" imposed upon them. The establishment of such a system 
would, in addition, raise the standard and enhance the quality of 
the service rendered and attract better ability to the particular 
lines of work. 

As employers of labor, however, our cities cannot afford to set 
the example of discharging outright and turning adrift, or cart- 
ing oft' to the poorhouses, employes who have spent the best years 
of their lives in the service of the municipality. It is pointed out 
by some students that in the case of policemen and firemen, who 
are engaged in the most hazardous occupations — in the protection 
of the life and property of their fellow-citizens — that it is only a 
matter of justice that the city make some provisions against the 
day when they are no longer able to provide fot themselves, (even 
as the Nation provides pensions for its soldiers and sailors who 
hazard their lives in the Nation's defence.) Aside from the justice 
of the case, however, it is evident that what is recognized as "a 
good business policy" with private employers ought to prove of 
profit to our city administrations. The advantages of retiring aged 
workers on pensions is recognized by all progressi\e employers of 
labor. This is evident from the rapid development of these systems, 
within recent years, as discussed in the preceding pages. 

Practically all the leading cities in Europe have had pension 
systems for their aged employes. In the United States this move- 
ment is comparatively recent. It is hardly fifty years old. At the 
present time, however, every one of the eighteen cities in the United 
States having more than 300,000 inliabitants, has a pension fund 



*The following study iindertaken by the Massachusetts Commission on Old Age Pensions is 
enlightening : 

"The cost and waste of the present method in the city of Boston, as -well as the need and scope 
of a pension plan applied to the municipal service of the city, are indicated by certain returns 
prepared at the request of the mayor. 

"The returns show the following facts regarding the number of pensionable employes, their 
length of sei-vice . compensation and efficiency : — 

"The total number of employes over 65 years is 491; oyer 70 years, 168. The amount of 
compensation paid to employes over 65 is 1419,888.45; over 70, $273,000. The number over 
65 reported as inefficient is 296. The compensation paid to this group is $200,194.35. 

"The percentage of inefficient employes among the employes over 65 years is strilcingly large 
in many departments. For example, in the cleaning and watering division of the street depart- 
ment 35 are employed , of whom all are reported inefficient ; in the cemetery department 16 
persons over 65 years are employed, of whom all are reported as Inefficient; in the park depart- 
ment 27 are employed, of whom 24 are inefficient. 

"The period of service Is over 30 years in the ease of 119 employes over 65, or 25 per cent, of 
the total. Culy 5% or 42 persons, have been in the employ of the city less than five years. 

"The leading departments, in j-espect to number of pensionable employes, rank as follows; 
(1) paving division of street department, 109 over 65 years; (2) water department, 65; (3) 
sanitary division, street department, 68; (4) sewer division, street department, 47; (5) cleaning 
and watering division, street department, 35; (6) park division, 27; (7) ferry division, street 
department, 26; (8) cemetery department, 16." (Report of Mass. Commission on Old Age 
Pensions, Annuities and Insurance, pp. 270-1.) 



181 

for its policemen and firemen. The six cities with 200,000 to 300,000 
inhabitants also pension their policemen and firemen. Nearly all 
the cities with populations between 100,000 and 200,000 have some 
form of pensioning one class or another of municipal employes. 
In addition to these, many of the smaller cities also provide one- 
form or another of pensioning particular groups of their employes. 



182 



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1S9 

At the present time in Pennsylvania, only Philadelphia, Pitts- 
burgh, and Scranton have regular Pension Funds for their police- 
men. Not one of the third class cities has established such pro- 
visions for its aged employes. That there is, however, a strong 
desire and active agitation for the establishment of such funds is 
evinced from the replies received to our letters of inquiry addressed 
to the heads of the Police Bureaus. 

"In Erie," writes the Chief of Police, "the police oflflcers have 
an association known as the Police Relief and Pension Association' 
which is working to build up a fund to be used for this purpose. 
We are in hopes the State will do something for the third class 
cities along these lines in the near future." The Johnstown police 
"have collected f3,000 playing base-ball to be applied to this fund 
as soon as we can get council to pass an ordinance creating it." 
The Chief of Police in Altoona writes: "No effort has been made by 
the municipal authorities to establish a pension fund in this city 
and we would be very glad if your department would take the initi- 
ative in this matter." Harrisburg reports that it "has not as yet 
established a pension fund for policemen, but hopes to do so in the 
near future." In Hazelton, at the time the reply to our inquiry 
was made, "there was a man from 'The Policemen's News' who was 
trying to organize the fore and to form one, promising to start a 
fund from the advertising which ho will receive for his magazine 
in writing up the history of the Hazelton Police Department." The 
Chief of Police of the City of York, expresses his approval of a 
pension fund, while the head of the Police Department in Wilkes- 
Parre laments, "With regiet, I have to say we have no pension 
fund nor have we any prospects as yet." 

The outstanding features of the three funds now in operation 
are as follows: The administration of these funds in Philadelphia 
and Pittsburgh is in the hands of a Board of Directors made up 
largely of Police District Delegates. In both cities, the city officials 
are members ex-officio, while in Scranton, the Police Pension Com- 
mission is composed of two active members of the Bureau of Police, 
two persons from the citizens at large and the Director of the 
Department of Public Safety, who are all appointed by the mayor. 

In Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, aside from the members of the 
police force, it is provided that outsiders maj^ become life members 
by paying •'if25. The latter, however, cannot vote and have no right 
to participate in the benefits. 

In Philadelphia, each member contributes to the fund one day's 
pay per month (not to take into account that part of the salaries 
in excess of .f.3fl00 per annum). Pittsburgh policemen pay 1| per 
cent, per month of their respective salaries. It is further provided 



that whenever the surplus of the fund reaches the sum of $50,000 no 
dues shall be paid. Tn Scranton, the police pay 1 per cent, of their 
monthly salaries. 

Besides the regular contributions from the members, the funds 
are supported by city appropriations and whatever is derived 
from donations, legacies, bequests, etc. The Scranton fund also 
receives "all money from the sales of unclaimed articles in the 
possession of the police." Philadelphia's appropriation to its 
police pension fund for the year 1918, amounted to .f60,000. 
Scranton appropriates "the sum of not less than |2,000 each year 
and also pays the expenses incurred in the administration of the 
fund." 

Only the regulations of the Philadelphia fund stipulate that a 
member may retire at the age of 50 after 20 years of service. 
Pittsburgh and Scranton make no age stipulations, but require 
respectively, 20 and 30 years of service. 

The annuity is computed in Philadelphia, by taking 2^% of 
the average pay for the last 10 years and multiplying it by the 
number of years of service. In Pittsburgh and Scranton it is 
one-half the salary at the time of retirement. 

In case of injury or disability received while on duty the fund 
does not stipulate any definite age or years of service required 
before the granting of a pension. The same method of computing 
the annuity is followed here as in the case of the regular one. 

The Philadelphia fund also provides for the extension of benefits, 
in the case of death, to dependent widows and children. Twenty 
dollars per month is the widow's pension and six dollars per month 
in addition is paid for each child. The benefits may not exceed 
fifty dollars per month. The widow's pension is discontinued at 
remarriage and the child's at the age of fourteen. If both depend- 
ent parents are living, an award of twenty dollars per month is 
given and twelve dollars per month if there is but one living. The 
Pittsburgh and Scranton funds make no such stipulations. 

All the existing funds provide for the reduction of the amount 
of pension in case of insufflcient means. In Philadelphia and 
Pittsburgh, a member when discharged, forfeits all claims and con- 
tributions. In Pittsburgh this is the case even upon resigning 
from the service. Pensions may be revoked in case of misconduct 
in all city schemes. 

From the pension features for firemen as found in table no. 
70, it is evident that here again only the first and second class 
cities in the State have definite provisions for aged firemen. A 
number of third class cities have firemen Relief Associations, but 
these pay only sick and death benefits for a limited period. 



191 

The chief characteristics of the regular firemen's pension systems 
in operation at present are the following: The Pittsburgh Fund, 
although originally established in 1886, did not begin to pay old 
age or service benefits until after the passage of the "act for the 
government of cities of the second class" in 1901. This act pro- 
vided that "The city councils may provide by ordinance a fund 
for the care, maintenance, relief of aged, retired, disabled or injured 
policemen or firemen." The Philadelphia Firemen's Pension Fund 
was chartered in 1891 and the Scranton Fund did not come until 
1904. 

Only in the Pittsburgh Fxmd do the firemen have no repre- 
sentation on the Board of Control. In Philadelphia the control 
is entirely in the hands of the members contributing. But such 
members of the City Councils as may be named by these bodies 
are members ex-officio of the Board of Control. Scranton, as is 
the case in its police fund, provides also for the representation of 
the citizens at large. 

All uniformed and regular members of the fire departments 
are eligible to membership. In Philadelphia, the members contrib- 
ute one day's pay each month. When pensioned, a member still 
continues to pay 50% of one day's salary at the time of his retire- 
ment. Pittsburgh firemen contribute f30 per annum in monthly 
installments; while in Scranton firemen pay 1% of their monthly 
salary. 

Other sources of income, which help to maintain these funds 
are, from appropriations made by the State and City (usually 
moneys received from taxes on Foreign Fire Insurance Companies), 
gifts, legacies, bequests, fines and all moneys turned over from 
previous funds. The Philadelphia Fund in 1918 received an appro- 
priation from City Councils amounting to .1f25,000. The City of 
Scranton also provides for the payment of all necessary expendi- 
tures of the Commission. 

The age when a fireman may retire on a pension is placed in 
Philadelphia at 45, after 20 years of service. In Pittsburgh, no 
age is stipulated. Twenty years of service is required, but this 
need not be continuous. Service credit is also given for time served 
in the U. S. Army or in the State Militia. The age required for 
retirement in Scranton is 60 years after 30 years of service. No 
one under 25 is eligible to service. 

The annuity provided in all funds is one-half the salary received 
at time of retirement. This salarj' must have been received for a 
required period of time. 

In case of injury or total disability a pension is paid regard- 
less of age or length of service. The Pittsburgh fund provides 
j-i-.j- „ ^omhpr shall receive full pay when off duty as a result of 



102 

an injury. This is paid by annual appropriations and not from 
the fund. In case of total disability ,fl,000 is paid from the fund. 
At the death of a fireman, both Philadelphia and Scranton pro- 
vide for the extension of benefits to widows and children. The 
former receive $20 per month and $6 per month is added for each 
child. The total, however, must not exceed 50% of salary at time 
of retirement. These pensions are given only in case a member 
dies within twelve months after being placed on pay-roll. Widows' 
pensions cease at remarriage and childrens' at the age of IC. In 
case of unmarried members, the Philadelphia Fund also extends 
benefits to dependent parents. Twelve dollars per month is given to 
one parent and twenty dollars per month for both. 

In addition to the above three cities, Altoona reports that its 
"firemen have a Eelief and Pension Association which pays bene- 
fits for sickness, accident, and death, also pensions members after 
20 years of active service. The maintenance of same is derived 
from dues, donations and the City by ordinance turns over the 
money received from the State from the tax on Foreign Insurance 
Companies." The City of Johnstown reports: "We have established 
a pension fund in connection with our Eelief Fund. We have over 
126,000- in our fund thanks to our many friends in Harrisburg." 

A number of cities have their firemen organized in "Firemen's 
Relief Associations" which pay sick and death benefits. These are 
usually administered by elected officers from the members. The 
funds are maintained by contributions from the members (when 
the service is not voluntary) and by appropriations from the city. 
The latter is usually the pro rata share received by the city from 
the State from the tax on Foreign Insurance Companies. The sick- 
ness benefits are paid for a certain length of time and in case of 
death, it is usually provided for the extension of the benefits to 
dependent widows and children, and if unmarried, to dependent 
parents. 

Practically all the organizations of the latter type are admit- 
tedly inadequate and their funds are often insufficient to meet their 
needs. The chief of the fire department, where one of the best of 
these systems prevails, writes: "I am of the opinion that the city 
should keep this money and establish its own pension fund. 
There should be a service pension paid and as our men get $10 per 
week from the Association in case of accident and their wages also 
from the city in some cases extending for several months, you can 
easily see what a great chance there is for fraud. Our local Asso- 
ciation has about .fl4,000 in its treasury and there is so much 
wrangling and dissatisfaction that a quorum cannot be obtained 
at some of the meetings. The pensioning of firemen should be s 
State affair." 



205 

The, widow of a member, entitled to old age or disability relief, 
who is without means of support and who has reached the age of 
sixty years at the time of her husband's death, is entitled to the 
$5 weekly payment until she dies or remarries. 

It is provided by the by-laws, that each member shall pay to 
the International Union Treasury such relief dues as may from 
time to time be levied by the International Union in convention 
assembled. The present assessment to the fund is 50 cents a month 
for each member. 

This union has jurisdiction over the U. S. and Canada. In Octo- 
ber 1918, it had 1,374 old age beneficiaries; 109 were receiving dis- 
ability benefits and 1G7 widows were on pension. Each of these 
was drawing |5 per week as a pension. In Pennsylvania this 
Union has 101 persons receiving old age benefits, 15 are receiving 
disability benefits and 16 widows are receiving pensions, making 
a total of 132 pensioners. In this State each one of these is receiv- 
ing $5 per week or |260 per year, making a total of |34,320 per 
year. 

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen reports 
of "an insurance feature in which every member must participate 
if he is able to pass the required medical examination," but "has 
no Old Age Relief Fund." 

The Order of Railway Conductors of America, reports of twenty- 
one fennsylvanians receiving assistance from their Relief Fund. 
The average amount received by these a month is |25.00. The 
secretary further adds: "All members of our Order are eligible to 
participate and receive assistance from this Fund, provided they 
are totally disabled and without means of support for themselves 
and families." 

It is interesting to notice that the organizations which have 
established pension systems of late, have learned somewhat from 
the experience of their predecessors and are at least attempting 
to adjust their rates on a more actuarial basis; and in addition 
provide many safeguards for the stability of their funds. 

The Pension Association of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers was first authorized in 1912 and was revised and 
readopted May 22, 1018. Its constitution provides that after the 
passage of this law, no one 60 years of age and over shall be 
admitted to membership. On and after June 30, 1916, no appli- 
cation shall be received for membership to the Pension Association 
from those who have reached the age of 50 years. And on and 
after December 31, 1919, no one can join who has reached the age 
of 45 years, while after December 31, 1920, members who have 
reached the age of 40 years are barred from membership. It is 



20G 

earning at least |60 per month are eligible to membership in this 
association; also '"no person who is out of employment temporarily 
caused bj' sickness or injury, can become a member of this Asso- 
ciation during such period." In addition to these restrictions, 
"All applicants for membership in this Association will be required 
to pass a physical examination by a competent and reliable phy- 
sician, and those having known physical or mental defects may 
become members of this Association, provided that proper and legal 
waivers be furnished by such applicants exempting this Association 
from any and all liabilities resulting therefrom." 

Benefits are extended to the following: First, "Any member 
of this Association in good standing, who was in active service at 
the time of enrollment as a member, but who from physical or 
mental cause is totally and permanently disqualified, or has been 
retired on account of old age, shall receive from the funds of this 
Association a monthly pension as hereinafter provided. 

"Any member of this Association who voluntarily retires from 
active service will not be entitled to receive a pension on account 
of old age until he has reached the age of 6") years." 

Second: "Any member of this Association, in good standing, 
who was not in active service at the time of enrollment as a mem- 
ber of this Association, who from physical, mental, or other canse, 
is unable to perform any kind of remunerative employment, or who 
has reached the age of 70 years, shall receive from the funds of 
this Association a pension as hereinafter provided; provided 
further, however, that no member shall receive a pension for dis- 
ability caused l)y his use of intoxicants, or unlawful acts." 

Third: "All members of this Association, who are 65 years of 
age and are in active service, may if they so elect, voluntarily 
retire permanently from such service, and thereupon become eligi- 
ble to a pension at once. All other members who have reached 
the age of 70 years shall be granted a pension." 

The contributions and the pensions of this Association are 
graded and vary in accordance with the age and period of contri- 
bution. The amount of dues paid by each member follows: 

"All active members under the age of 30 years shall pay 50 cents 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 30 to 35 years shall pay fl.OO 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 35 to 40 years shall pay |1.50 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 40 to 45 years shall pay |2.00 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 45 to 50 years shall pay |2.50 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 50 to 55 years shall pay |3.00 
per month. 



207 

All active inembera from the age of 55 to 60 years shall pay $3.50 
per month. 

All active members from the age of 60 to 65 years shall paj^ $4.00 
per month. 

All active members over the age of 65 years shall pay |4.50 per 
month." 

The'pensions allowed are based upon the following scales: "Any 
jnember of this Association who has been declared a pensioner by 
the Board of Governors, who shall have paid dues for 60 months, or 
less, shall receive a pension from "this Association for the remainder 
or his life, of |25.00 per month." 

"Those paying the dues for 61 months to 120 months, fSO.OO per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 121 months to 180 months, |35.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 181 months to 240 months, |40.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 241 months to 300 months, |45.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 301 months to 360 months, |50.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 361 months to 420 months, $55.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for 421 months to 480 months, $60.00 per 
month. 

Those paying the dues for over 480 months, $65.00 per month." 

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers also has an Indigent 
Fund and an Insurance Relief Fund. No information is available 
as to the number of pensioners in Pennsylvania. 

The Pressman's Union adopted a pension plan, by first creating 
a sinking fund from the accumulations of a 25 cent assessment per 
month for all members for five years, before the payment of pen- 
sions became operative. This, it is believed, Avill create a sufllcient 
fund which when placed on interest will insure stability and pre- 
vent the gradual increase of the per capita tax as was the case 
with other established funds. 

Since 1913, District Number 21, United Mine Workers of America 
has had the following pension system: 

Each member pays 40 cents assessment per month, which may 
be raised or lowered when necessary. 

All members, 60 years of age, wlieii they have discontinued 
work in the mines, or those physically disabled from performing 
further labor in and around the mines, having no other means of 
support, and in good standing for five years preceding January 
1st, 1913, shall receive $3.00 per week. Those joining the Union 



208 

after January 1st, 1913, are not eligible to benefits unless they 
have been members in good standing for 5 years prior to making 
application for pension. 

At the 1916 International Convention of the United Mine 
Workers of America, a Committee was appointed "to investigate 
and report the advisability and possible cost, to the International 
Union, of erecting and maintaining a suitable home wherein to care 
for the aged, infirm and decrepit members." 

After a careful investigation of the Soldiers' Homes, and Homes 
for The Aged maintained by the different unions, and fraternal 
organizations, in the United States and England, the Committee 
reached the conclusion that "taking the estimates of other homes, 
it would cost about $40.00 per month for each resident for clothing, 
food, medical attendance, and medical supplies." 

The Committee further reports that "The question of pension, 
with or without a home, was early called to our attention, and as 
the difiierent organizations with whom we came in contact either 
had pension systems in active operation or were preparing to adopt 
pension systems, we deemed it advisable to gather all the data 
possible on that subject." In comparing the safeguards adopted 
by other organizations, and in its "endeavors" to select the best 
that are actually necessary, to make the plan a success, the com- 
mittee at the last International Convention of the U. M. W. A., 
recommended the following plans for creating and maintaining a 
pension system. 

"(1) An old age disability pension fund is hereby created by 
an assessment of 40 cents per month per member, which shall auto- 
matically be raised and lowered as necessary under the direction 
of the board of trustees hereinafter provided for, but in no case 
shall the assessment exceed 50 cents per month. per member. 

"(2) Said assessment shall be in full force and operation on 
and after April 1, 1918. 

"(3) A sinking fund shall be created by the accumulation of 
said assessment for a period of three years from and after April 
1, 1918. 

"(4) That on and after April 1, 1921, all members in good 
standing who have reached the age of sixty-five years and who 
have been continuous members in good standing for a period of 
ten years immediately preceding their application for pension and 
have paid their regular monthly assessment to the pension fund for 
at least three years, whose earning capacities have been reduced 
to less than twenty-five dollars per month, and who have no visible 
means of support other than their labor, shall be eligible to receive 
a pension of twenty dollars per month, payable monthly. 



209 

"(5) That on and after April 1, 1921, any member who has been 
a continuous member in good standing for ten years immediately 
preceding his application for pension and who has paid his regular 
monthly assessment to the pension fund for at least three years 
and who is totally incapacitated for work by reason of accident 
or sickness of a permanent character, who has no visible means of 
support other than his labor and who has been denied aid from 
compensation laws or has tried and tailed to recover reasonable 
damages for injuries sustained, shall, upon satisfactory proof, be 
allowed a pension of twenty dollars per month, payable monthly; 
the trustees to have the right to appoint a physician or physicians 
to make an examination if they deem it necessary." 

From a canvass of 699 locals with a total membership of 120,568 
the Committee has learned that there were 4,199 members from 
60 to 65 years old; 1,928 from 65 to 70 years of age, and 156 from 
70 and over. In addition there were also, 1,497 members inca- 
pacitated under 60 years of age. 

The Committee admits that this is a very large per cent., as 
compared with the membership of other organizations, but recom- 
mends the adoption of 65 years of age as the minimum age for 
the payment of pensions. 

The Committee accepts the experience of the International Typo- 
graphical Union as a safe guide for their own contemplated plan. 
It states that in the latter Union, there is a fraction more than 
22 pensionere to each 1,000 members, which they assume will hold 
true of their own membership. They ignore however, the fact that 
the percentage of pensioners in the I. T. U. has been continuouslv 
on the increase. And further ignore the definite warning, of the 
Union's Executive Committee, sounded at the last convention, that 
while the expenditures on pensions have continuously increased, 
the receipts did not increase to the same ex;tent. And for t]ie last 
fiscal year there was even a deficit. 

The experience of even the firmly established and best inten- 
tioned fraternal pension systems in this country has not proved 
these to be very satisfactory insurance instruments. It is, doubt- 
less, this recognition that has prompted the International Typo- 
graphical Union to adopt the following resolution at its 1917 Con- 
vention. 

"Whereas The United States of America is the only great nation 
in the world (excepting Eussia) that does not provide old age 
pensions for its worn out and worthy workers ; and, 

"Whereas The consequent necessity of American workers to pro- 
ride their own benefits is a gross inju.stice, and frequently ends in 
failure through no fault of the workers; and, 

U 



210 

"Wheieas, The Govei-uiuoiit of the United States of America has 
deiiianded that its citizens protect the honor of the nation with 
their lives in a great war, while this Government has not in the 
past been responsive to the demands of its workers to protect their 
lionor; therefore, be it 

"Kesolved, That the International Typographical Union, in con- 
vention assembled, endorse and urge the passage of the old age 
pension bill introduced in Congress by Geo. 1. R. Sherwood, for 
the benefit of all American workers." 

That attempts, made by the working classes to provide against 
old age frequently end in failure, is certainly well borne out and 
generally recognized. Labor organizations and labor leaders have 
therefore been most active in agitating for governmental pension 
systems in old age. Knowing the difficulties confronting them in 
establishing their own provisions, labor unions have repeatedly 
declared that "The responsibility of caring for the veterans of 
industry who in times of peace have been the mainspring in the 
work of material progress, and in times of war have always been 
ready to sacrifice their all, either in the field of active operations 
or in bearing the burdens of taxation and support, should as a 
]«iatter of riglit and justice rest upon the Government." 

In Penns^dvania, for the last decade, the State Federation of 
Labor has been the most active body urging a state-wide pension 
plan for all aged workers. A bill for this purpose was introduced 
by the Chairman of this Commission, in the 1917 session of the 
Legislature. 



CHAPTER III. 



THE PROBLEM OF OLD AGE PENSIONS— WHAT IT IS. 



"In the care of the aged we express our altruism in its highest 
xorm."* The question of state pensions for the aged, like all social 
problems, is of modern origin. As a form of social insurance it is 
not necessarily pi'eventlve of poverty but rather remedial. Neverthe- 
less, in its most liberal form it seeks to accomplish a more equita))le 
distribution of wealth. A state old age pension ultimately in 
volves a redistribution of wealth, eiclier from the productive years 
of the individual to his non-productive years, or from the funds of 
the entire community to the aged. The question of providing for 
the aged hardly existed before the era of the factory system. The 
modern problem of old age is a result of the Iremendous industraliza,- 
tion of production since the industrial revolution. In the primitive 
patriarchal state old age was revered, and the aged person w>ir 
looked up to for advice. Where the family was a unit the supremacy 
of the old Avas permanent and continued beyond theii- productive 
powers. Tlie worker in medieval times ordinarily would go on 
working as long as he could produce something. The feudal lord 
was obliged to take care of his workers in case of sickness, accident 
and old age. Under those conditions there was no necessity for 
individual provisions against any emergency. In the early stage of 
industrial develo])ment, the economic relations betA\'een men were 
more or less of a permanent character. The labor contract was 
usr.ally life-long. The usefulness of an old man or woman also 
rarely ceased in an agricultural society before actual senility had 
taken place. 

All this is changed under our modern wage system. The rapid 
development of industry has dejtrived old age of the esteem bestowed 
upon it under the more primitive patriarchal conditions. Modern 
industrj' at the end of a life of productive toil relegates its aged 
and decrepit workers to the scrap heap as useless and of no economic 
value. "It is notorious that the Insatiable factory wears out its 
workers with great rapidity. As it scraps machinery so its scraps 
human beings. The young, the vigorous, the adaptable, the supple 
of limb, the alert of mind, are in demand. In business and in the 

^T~ Tiiattor of the asf-d ^mis aettled summarily by -primitive men. It is told that some 
tribes used to put their old gentlemen up in trees, and then after singing "tiie fruit 
savajre _y ^^^^^^ '^^^ frees, and clubbed the nged unfortunates as they tumbled do-wn. 



(2U) 



212 

professions maturity of judgment and ripened experience offset, to 
some extent, tlie disadvantage of old age; but in thie factory and 
on the railway, with spade and pick, at the spindle, at the steel 
converters there are no offsets. Middle age is old age, and the 
woi'n-out worker, if he has no children and if he has no savings, 
Loeomes an item in the aggregate of the unemployed. The veteran 
of industry who is crowded out by changes in processes and the 
use of new machinery is obviously an instance of maladjustment."* 
It was seen from our discussions that many industrial concerns — 
especially railroads — will not employ men after they have reached 
the age of 40, and a few bar men from employment even at the age 
of 35. It was also found that but few aged workers were engaged 
in the leading Pennsylvania^ industries. The labor contract in th(.' 
factory system is made onl^ for a temporary period, and the em- 
ployer recognizes no obligation to support the workers during theii- 
declining years of inactivity. The aged worker is thrown upon his 
own resources. This condition of impotence is augmented still further 
by the break-up of the family in modern society which often thrus<i- 
Hie aged worker into a strange country or community without friend^ 
or relatives. "After the age of sixty has been reached, the transition 
fi'om non-dependence to dependence is an easy stage — property gone 
friends passed away or removed, relatives become few, ambition col- 
lapsed, only a few short years left to live, with death a final and wel- 
cc-nie end to it all — such conclusions inevitably sweep the wac;e-earnei' 
from the class of hopeful independent citizens into that of the help- 
less poor."** The modern problem of old age is thus obvi- 
ously the problem of the inability to find employment combined with 
waning earning power. The old man now finds it diflScult to secuie 
work even at low wages. 

It is evident that much of old age poverty is a result of conditions 
or misfortunes over which the individual has no control. Many of 
Ihe aged poor must not be looked upon as paupers. They are the 
"picked survivors of our civilization," and only created paupers by 
the industrial conditions. It sounds contradictory, but the effect of 
tlie blessings of civilization and the prolongation of life is only to pro- 
I'lng the period of inactivity and, because of the growing complica- 
tions of industry, the working period is also shortened. "There 
are approximately 1,250,000 former wage-earners who have reached 
the age of sixty-five years in want and are now supported by charity, 
public and private. In round numbers, it is costing this country 
.1220,000,000 a year for the support of this great host of vrorn-out 
toilers."*** An estimate of the extent of aged dependency in Pennsyl- 
vania may be obtained from the figures presented in other ])arts of 

*E. T. Devine, "Misery And Its Causes," p. 12.^. 

**L. W. Squire, "Old Age Dependency in tlie United States," pp. 28-29. 

***"Oid Age Dependency," p. 3. 



197 

necessarily be continuous. Judges of tlie Common Pleas and 
Orphans' Court may also retire at sixty-five instead of seventy as 
before, if they have served continuously for twenty years (as com- 
pared with twenty -five years previously required) in judicial ofiQce. 

An Act of Assembly passed in 1915 provided that "from and 
after the first day of September, Anno Domini one thousand nine 
hundred and fifteen, whenever the Governor is of opinion, based 
upon satisfactory medical evidence, that a State employe is, by 
reason of physical or mental disability, permanently incapacitated 
for performing his regular official duties, except State employes 
whose retirement has been or shall be otherwise provided for, he 
shall notify said employe of his opinion, giving the reason there- 
for; and if the said employe shall resign within thirty days after 
such notice, and shall have served continuously in office as such a 
State employe for twenty-five years or more, or who shall have 
reached the age of seventy years and shall have served continuously 
in ofiflce as such a State employe for twenty years or more . . . 
he shall receive during the remainder of his life, or during the 
continuance of such disability or incapacity, one-half of the salary 
which he would have received had he remained in active service." 

This was amended in 1917 so that the twenty-five year period of 
service necessary for retirement need not be continuous. The age 
period necessary to qualify for a pension, was also reduced from 
seventy years to sixty-five years of age. 

In the Spring of 1918 there were three judges and nine state 
employes receiving State pensions. 

(6) UNITED STATES PENSIONS. 

On June 30, 1917, there were 62,133 Pennsylvanians receiving 
United States pensions. The total amount spent on these was; 
$14,867,958.15 per annum. 

(7) OLD AGE BENEFITS OF FKATEENAL ORGANIZATIONS. 

The earliest forms of mutual assistance and benefits organized 
by the middle and working classes, were the Fraternal Organiza- 
tions. These had their beginning in the medieval trade guilds. 
The industrial revolution, with its resultant hazards, spurred and 
swelled these organizations tremendously. In England, these 
developed into the present extensive Friendly Societies and in this 
country into the numerous Fraternal orders and Secret Societies. 

The fraternal organizations supply forms of insurance — largely 
against sickness, death, and disability — through incorporated asso- 
ciations to their own members, on a co-operative plan. When con- 



198 

fronted with the problem of old age relief, these societies, ordi- 
narily, raise only sums sufficient to cover the immediate contin- 
gency. This is a system where the younger generations grant aid 
to the older members with the expectation that in their old age 
they too will be provided for in a similar manner. The inevitable 
result is that as the burden of supporting the older members 
becomes heavier, fewer younger members are attracted into these 
societies. In addition, many of the -latter group drop out, with 
only the older members holding on imtil the final collapse. The 
early history of these societies, as insurance instruments, is strewn 
with financial wrecks. Few of these societies had adjusted their 
rates on a scientific basis or with the necessary actuarial data and 
many soon became insolvent. 

At the present time there are approximately 155 fraternal organ- 
izations in Pennsylvania. The membership in many of these runs 
up into the thousands. The Pennsylvania law regulating these 
organizations provides that "it shall be lawful for any corporation, 
society, or voluntary association now or hereafter formed or organ- 
ized and carried on for the sole benefit of its members and their 
beneficiaries, and not for profit, to have and create subordinate 
lodges with ritualistic form of work and a representative form of 
government and to issue certificates of membership, make provision 
tor the payment of benefits in case of sickness, disability, or death 
of its members . . . and in which the payment of death 
benefits shall be to families, heirs, blood relatives, affianced hus- 
band or affianced wife or to persons dependent upon the member." 
This act, passed in 1893, and never since amended, shows that the 
payment of old age benefits was not I'ecognized as one of the pur- 
poses of beneficiary associations, for which they may be incor- 
porated. 

In the Forty-fourth Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Insurance 
Commissioner, there are listed ninety-five fraternal corporations 
from other States, doing business in Pennsylvania. There are also 
listed 59 sue)) Pennsylvania corporations. Of the former, only 
9 are listed definitely as giving old age benefits. The num- 
ber of Pennsylvanians receiving such benefits is thirty-one. The 
total amount spent on these is |24,420.18. A letter of inquiry 
addressed to all the Pennsylvania organizations brought thirty-nine 
responses. None of these pay old age benefits as such. Thirty-two 
pay no benefits which may be classed ' as superannuation allow- 
ances, although a number pay disability benefits. 

The nature and kind of benefits provided, which may be con- 
strued and in certain cases may amount to superannuation bene- 
fits will be observed from the following letters: The "Fraternal 
Mystic Circle" reports: "This Society does not pay any old age 



199 

pfiiisioiis, as such. However, many of our iJenetit Certificates or 
Policies do carry wliat are known as Old Age Disability Benefits, 
payable after age 70, and in the event of physical disability that 
prevents the members from performing at least the major portion 
of their customarj' occupation. 

"Under some forms of Certificates the Old Age Benefit is the 
reserve value of the Certificate or Policy, payable in one sum ; 
and in other forms it is 1/10 of the face of the certificate payable 
annually. There are 4,617 in the entire order which carry an Old 
Age Benefit at 70 equal to the reserve value of the Certificate, and 
there are 4,907 in the entire order which provide an Old Age 
Benefit of 1/10 of the Certificate annually." 

The secretary of the Educators' Beneficial Association replies 
to our inquiry: "We do not have on our records any members to 
whom we are paying Old Age Benefits. We have a clause in our 
By-Laws which provides for tlie payment of |150.00 per year for 
life, at age 65, if totally disabled through sickness or accident, 
and after a membership of fifteen years." 

The United States Annuity Sociely has "just one aged person 
drawing benefits from the societj-. His age is 72. ^\e pay him a 
monthly income of |25 which is to be paid as long as he lives." 
Ihe Supreme Secretary of the Protective Home Circle writes: "Our 
Order only pays old age disability, beginning at age seventy. We 
pay one-twentieth of the face of their benefit certificate each year 
for ten years. 

"Our certificates run in multiples of fSOO.OO,— from fSOO.OO to 
13,000.00 so that on a |500.00 certificate there would only be |25.00 
a year. On f3,000 certificate, there would be |150.00 a year. 

"This is not a matter of charity, however, but simply an old age 
benefit, as per law." 

The Independent Order of Puritans vcports tlie following plan 
used by the organization. "This Order isKues a Monthly Income 
Certificate that provides a monthly benefit to the family or other 
beneficiary in the event of the death of tlie member. To illustrate, 
the member carries a |5,000 Certificate, in the event of his death, 
the Order pays to his beneficiarj' |50.00 eacli month for a period of 
one hundred months, being 8^ years. 

"On reaching age 70, the member can file a claim for old age 
disability and receive |50.00 a month until the amount of his Cer- 
tificate is paid, in the event of death any unpaid portion of the 
Certificate is paid to the beneficiary." At present the Order is 
paying old age benefits to five persons. 

The foregoing analysis shows that only a negligilile number of 
these associations have old age benefits^n most cases, merely 
extensions of the sickness insurance systems — and the number 



200 

r<?ceiving such benefits in Pennsylvania is inconsiderable. Fraternal 
orders and societies provide mainly for sickness, accident, death, 
and invalidity. While a number provide for prolonged and perma- 
nent disability allowances, which in advanced years may amount 
to a pension, the number actually giving old age benefits is insig- 
nificant. 

(8) TRADE UNION SUPERANNUATION BENEFITS. 

Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of 
Labor, states in a letter addressed to the "Committee on Miners' 
Home and Pensions," "The general purpose — that the organization 
ought to take care of its aged and indigent members, and to 
make some provision for their welfare and protection — ^is a most 
worthy one. It is in accord with the general fraternal concept that 
underlies the whole organized labor movement. It has much in 
common with the more sensitive social conscience that has led to 
general provisions for those in want." 

He further warns that "Many of the proposals for social insur- 
ance are of a compulsory nature. Wage earners now find them- 
selves confronted by this alternative: either labor organizations 
must make more comprehensive and more adequate provision for 
trade union benefits, or else they will have forced upon them, 
compulsory social insurance under the control nnd t'lf direction 
of governmental agencies. Compulsory social ii suraiice will inevi- 
tably result in supervision by the Government of Ihe noi rutil activi- 
ties of trade unions and in the delegation to goveinraenlal agents 
of all matters that vitally affect the interests, the rights, the welfare 
and the freedom of wage-earners." 

It is also the general conviction of trade unionists, that a pen- 
sion paid by the union to its old members is of inestimable value. 
Trade union experience, with established benefit features, has 
proved these to be sources of strength, "holding and binding the 
membership together in a bond of human sympathy, winning the 
admiration and respect of even those who are opposed to union 
organizations." As an organizing factor, it is invaluable. It 
attracts, and prompts to identify themselves with labor organiza- 
tions, members who would perhaps otherwise remain on the out- 
side and be a constant menace. The fact that a member is rewarded 
for loyalty to the union by being provided for in his declining 
years not only sponsors more prompt payment of dues, but reduces 
the lapses of dues to a minimum. Furthermore, it causes many 
to consider well before contemplating the severing of their con- 
nection with the union for any but very serious reasons. 

It would appear from the preceding that among trade unions at 



201 

least, — where the principle of fraternal brotherhood is most firmly 
established — there would be found complete measures and com- 
prehensive schemes for the protection of their loyal members in 
their declining days. This however, is not the case; and thus far, 
the American labor movement has done comparatively little in the 
way of providing opportunity for protection against old age. 

The 1908 Report of the United States Commissioner of Labor, 
lists 18 Trade Union organizations as paying benefits for tem- 
porary disability, and death. Four of these pay benefits for tem- 
porary disability, permanent disability and death ; three pay benefits 
for temporary disability, permanent disability, death and superan- 
nuation; two pay benefits for temporary disability, permanent dis- 
ability, death, superannuation and death of members' wives. Of the 
83 unions that pay death benefits, 18 pay permanent disability bene- 
fits. Only four were paying superannuation benefits. Four other 
unions were at that time accumulating a fund for the payment of 
superannuation benefits which are now in operation. 

The first American Trade Union to institute an old age pension 
system was the International Typographical Union. The history 
of the pension system of this labor organization is interesting and 
indicative of the whole problem of fraternal insurance. This 
union, which began to take care of its aged workers as early as 
1892, has ever since been in the vanguard of the movement to 
extend old age pensions to all groups. In 1894 the International 
Typographical Union opened its Union Printers' Home at Colorado 
Springs, Colorado, in order to take care of the old and infirm mem- 
bers, "who through their steadfast loyalty and many sacrifices to 
the I. T. U. have made the present organization possible." After 
several years of experience with this Home — generally conceded a 
good Home — the I. T. U. soon became aware of tlie fact that many 
aged and incapacitated members were unable to avail themselves 
of the benefits of the home because of family ties and long associa- 
tions in their respective communities. Once this was realized, ito 
further insure the members against abject poverty and public or 
private charity, an old age pension system was established at the 
annual convention of the Union in 1907. This became operative 
in March 1908. 

The law, as originally adopted, provided for the payment of .|4.00 
per week to members 60 years of age, having a continuous active 
membership in good standing of twenty years, unable to obtain 
sustaining employment at the printing trade, and not earning 
more than $4.00 per week at the trade. At the 1910 Convention 
the law was amended so as to render eligible to pension, members 
70 vears of age, ha-ving a continuous active membership in good 
standino' of ten years. Provision was also made in the law for 



202 

members totally incapacitated for work whose applications for 
admission to the Home had been disapproved by reason, of their 
affliction; such members to have twenty years continuous active 
membership in good standing. 

In 1911, at its con\ention in San Francisco, the 1. T. U., finding 
that the preceding amendment still did not reach a large number 
of mt'u whom it was necessary to assist and also that the experience of 
the first few years of its pension fund warranted a further exten- 
sion of the benefits, increased the pension allowance to five dollars 
per week to the following three classes of members. 

First. ]\lembeis 60 years of age who have been members in 
good standing for a period of twenty years, including and ante- 
dating the enactment of the pension law, and who find it impossi- 
ble to secure sustaining employment at the trade. Applicants 
under this provision of the law must have been members in good 
standing at the time the pension law became effective and main- 
tained active membership since that time. 

Second. Members who have reached the age of 70 years and 
v/ho have been in continuous good standing for a period of ten 
years and who find it impossible to secure sustaining employment 
at the trade. 

Third. Members who are totally incapacitated for work, who 
have been continuous active members for twenty years, and whose 
applications for admission to the Home have been disapproved 
because their afflictions are such as to render them ineligible for 
entry to that institution. 

The fujid for the payment of pensions is provided by a tax of 
one-half of one per cent, of the weekly earnings of all members. ' 

Since March 1908, when the assessments were first made, the 
total receipts of this fund up to May 31, 1917, were 12,513,205.21 
from the tax assessment, |128,059.72 was derived from interest, 
and .|653.50 from returned pensions. The total receipts were 
|2,641 ,918.4:>. The expenditures made during the same time were 
.f 1, 97.1,859.00 paid to pensioners; and |50,183.70 for administra- 
tion and registered system. The balance of the fund on May 31, 
1917 was .f 615,875.73. 

The table below sliows what it cost per mendier to maintain this 
fund since its establishment. 

Monthly Pension 
Total Earnings of Assessment 

Year Members Per Member 

1909 S40.293,73S 37.3 cents 

1910 45,602,944 39.7 cents 

1911 49,770,668 40.5 cents 



203 

1912 53,378,902 41.3 cents 

1913 56,944,484 42.5 cents 

1914 61,050,332 43.0 cents 

1915 61,155,285 43.5 cents 

1916 62,711,805 43.3 cents 

1917 66,652,431 45.2 cents 

It will be observed that with one exception the assessments have 
continually increased. During the first few years, the financial 
operation of the system was declared eminently satisfactory. A 
comparison, therefore, of the receipts and expenditures of this 
fund during the first few years and the last years is exceedingly 
enlightening. In the first year the receipts exceeded the amount 
expected, while the expenditures were even less than those esti- 
mated. Because of this, there was a temptation to reduce the 
amount of assessment. After several years of experience, however, 
it appears that the expenditures on pensions have grown steadily, 
and in 1917 have amounted to nearly $20,000 more than the receipts 
from the assessments. Indeed, while at the end of the first year 
the balance in the fund, after paying out all expenditures, was 
$159,767.17, in 1917, there was an actual deficit of $425.15. -This 
deficit is even larger when the f23,282.75 interest item is deducted 
from the total receipts. At the last convention of the I. T. U. 
a warning was sounded because of this and it was recommended 
that "the provision in the pension law which permits a member of 
but ten years' standing to be placed on the pension roll at the 
age of 70 should be repealed. When this amendment was adopted 
there was some justification for the law. That justification has 
ceased to exist, and it is not fair that those of our members who 
join the union at the age of 21 or thereabouts should be assessed 
to pay pensions to members who join at thei age of 55 or later. It 
is a question whether members who work regularly two days each 
week are legally entitled to continue on the pension roll. We may 
as well realize the fact that if we are to continue this extremely 
liberal interpretation of our pension law we must pay for it by an 
increased assessment." 

Up to May 31, 1917, 2,590 applications for pensions by the I. T. U. 
were received. Of this number 72 petitions were disapproved, 51 
Avere withdrawn and 2,467 were approved. Death removed 958, 
leaving 1,509 pensioners on May 31, 1917. The high death rate of 
86.9 per cent, among these pensioners is significant. This is 
doubtless due to the advanced ages of the pensioners. Only 110 
of these living are under 60 years of age. The membership of the 
unions having members on pension in 1917 was 49,766. The pen- 
sioners represented 3 per cent, of the membership of these unions 



204 

which in return constituted over three-fourth of the total member- 
ship of the I. T. U. During the fiscal year ending May 31, 1917, 69 
pensioners were added. 

The Order of Railroad Telegraphers has established a pension 
fund for life annuities to old and faithful members of the order 
who have reached an advanced age in life, as well as to those 
totally disabled through physical and mental infirmities. In order 
to be eligible to membership, one must be a member continuously 
for at least five years, immediately prior to the filing of applica- 
tion for membership with the pension fund. Members 60 years of 
age and over are not eligible to membership in the pension fund 
after January 1, 1916. 

The fund is maintained from an admission fee of five dollars 
from all applicants for membership in the pension fund and from 
a semi-annual assessment thereafter "equal to an equal division 
of $240 over the period ensuing between the age of the applicant 
at the time of admission to the pension fund and his 65th birth- 
day after which his or her assessments shall cease." 

When a member of the pension fund attains the age of 65, he is 
paid a monthly salary of |20 during the balance of his or her 
natural life. 

In order to obtain a total disability pension, eight years mem- 
bership is required. The assessments cease as soon as placed on 
retirement roll. 

The pension fund is entirely self sustaining and can in- no 
way create any financial liability to the order of the Railroad Tele- 
graphers. 

The Secretary and Treasurer of the Order writes: "We will prob- 
ably discontinue our pension plan at our next convention, which 
will be held during the month of May 1919, due to the fact that 
this proposition has not received the support of our members as 
^vas anticipated. If it is discontinued, all money paid into the fund 
will be returned to the members of this department." 

The Blicklayers, Masons, and Plasterers' International Union of 
America has an Old Age, Disability and Widows' Relief Fund. 
This union provides, that when a member has been in continuous 
good standing for a period of twenty or more years, and has 
passed the age of sixty and who through some bodily infirmity 
is unable to secure sustaining employment at any occupation and 
has no means of support, he is then entitled to make application 
and receive .f5 per week benefits from the Relief Fund. 

A member who meets with some accident while working at his 
trade on a building, during worldng hours, and is incapacitated 
from work, and who has ten years of continuous standing to his 
credit, is entitled to disability relief, of |5 per week. 



213 

the Report. Students of social and economic conditions and of stand- 
ards of living are generally agreed that with the modem cost of living, 
the great masses of workers cannot lay aside from current wages suf- 
ficient to provide for possible emergencies. The excessive expendi- 
tures required on food and rent as disclosed in the house-to-house 
studies bear out this contention. Saving for old age is especially dif- 
ficult as it is so remote and uncertain of attainment. Most people 
have a working belief in the power of kind fate to bring release in 
one form or another, before the tools have to be dropped. Professor 
iSeager aptly states: "The conditions of modern industry have failed 
to supply motives for saving sufficiently strong to take the place of 
those that are gone. It is true that saving is still necessary to pro- 
vide for the rainy day, for loss of earning power due to illness or acci- 
dent or old age, but against these needs is the insistent demand of 
the present for better food, for better living conditions, for educa- 
tional opportunities for children. This demand is not fixed and sta 
tionary. It is always expanding. . . . One consequence of our 
living together in cities and daily observing the habits of tho.st bettei 
off than we are is that we are under constant pressure to advance our 
standards. This pressure effects the wage-earner quite as much as it 
does the college professor. Both, when confronted with the problem 
of supporting a family in a modern city, find the cost of living as 
Mark Twain has said, 'a little more than you've got.' ''* 

Professor Miller, in the most recent book on Social Insurance, con- 
cludes: "Thrift is a desirable habit for those who receive a wa^e 
fiat makes saving a possibility, but thrift becomes a mockery in the 
homes of the poor, and 'saving' an economic falsehood."** 

It is evident that the problem of economic support of the aged i- 
with us, and whether met in one form or another, society bears the 
burden. The giving of alms, however, either private or public, is noi. 
only insufficient and unsatisfactory, but as has been pointed out by 
many students before, it exercises a degrading effect upon the recipi- 
ent and is repugnant to the self-respecting person. "While the social 
activities of the state are marked by hujnane legislation in many 
forms, for the betterment of the individual, its system of poor relief 
is antiquated. Poor relief makes no distinction between the worthy 
and the unworthy ; the social stigma, the deprivation of citizenship 
and often the publication in the town report of the name of tlie 
recipient and the amount doled out to him, make the system onerous 
and the approbrius epithet of 'pauper' is the price the citii'.en pays 
for help "*** It is also evident that the retention of an aged employe 
in active service often involves economic waste. 

.11 R Senger, "Social Insurance," pp. 10-11. 

.i>. ^ T^illpr "Social Insurance In the TJ. S. 1918," p. 111. 

...i lal Report On Old Age Pensions," by Committee of National Association of Manufactiireis, 

May, 1917. P- 2. 



214 

To meet the problem adequately, systems of old age pensions or in- 
surance are, therefore, urged, not only iis a means of taking the aged 
workers out of the poorhouse and enabling them to spend tJieir last 
years in self-respect and comfort but for many other reasons. "Social 
insurance has a significant effect on the national health and phy- 
si(|ue," says Frank A. Yanderlip, President of the National City Bank. 
It is contended that any system of insurance is preferable to indi- 
vidual savings. Insurance is defined as an arrangement by whicli 
the losses sustained by few are distributed among many. The indi- 
vidual savings against old age from this view point may be consid- 
ered even uneconomic as it requires every person to provide by a 
lifetime of painful effort, ^\'ith no absohite security, against a con- 
tingency which is certain to be experienced only by a few who sur- 
vive. Moreover, it is argued by many students that "Wages ought to 
mean an income sufficient to insure support for life ; and where such 
is uot the case it is inevitable that supplementary means shall be 
forthcoming in old age to warrant a continued 'living.' Under such 
conditions public support should be considered as postponed wages, 
and not charity. The worker who has spent his life in industry, and 
whose wages have been legitimately consumed in support of himself 
and family, is entitled to 'supplementary' wages in old age. A pen- 
sion in such cases may rightly be called 'postponed wages.' "* 

Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, in his annual report lor 1917, 
speaking of a retirement la^v for Government employes said: "The 
effect of such a law would be to give an assurance of a competent and 
comfortable old age. It would relieve the employee from the fear of 
loss of occupation and of livelihood, would further inspire him to 
loyalty to the Government as an employer, thus improving the gen- 
eral quality of the service rendered bj^ Government employees, and 
would permit the replacement of some employees in the vai'ious de 
partments who have long and faithfully served the Government and 
reached venerable but enfeebled years without having had an oppor- 
tunity to accumulate any competence upon which their retirement 
can rest."** Secretary of Commerce Redfield, in his annual report 
for the same year said : "Efficient service and justice to employees 
demand a comprehensive, wide-reaching, and effective scheme of re- 
tirement pensions, the advantages of which are being more and more 
widely recognized by progressive commercial establishments and by 
foreign governments."*** The Chief Clerk of the Department of 
State said : "Most men look forward with more or less apprehension 
to the impairments of advancing years, and such apprehension un- 
consciously affects adversely their ability for the complete jierform- 
ance of duties assigned to them. I believe that a reasonable assui- 



*G. R. Miner, "Social Insurance," pp. 109-110. 

••Report of Hearings Before U. S. Senate Coromittee On Civil Service and Bettencliment," p. 

•"Ibid. 



215 

ance of being cared for in liis declining years will proportionately 
increase a man's mental and physical effectiveness in his years of 
health and vigor."* 

Secretary of Labor, William B. Wilson, in speaking of old age 
pensions said: "During his entire lifetime tlie propertyless workman 
must continue to give a share of what he produces in the form of 
profits to his employer in return for the opportunity of earning a 
living. The compensation received seldom exceeds the household 
requirements, 'economically administered.' When the time comes 
that the physical and mental faculties begin to decline, when his 
powers of brain and brawn can no longer be profitably employed, no 
means have been accumulated by him with which to sustain existence. 
Surely, then, society at large, to which he has given a lifetime oC 
labor, which protects his employer and others in their title to prop- 
erty, should protect him in his right and title to a comfortable exist- 
ence during the remainder of his days." 

"The State at the present time recognizes a part of its duty to the 
old, the sick, the injured and the incompetent, as is shown by the 
establishment of poorhouses and hospitals. But our poorhouses are 
organized and maintained on the principle of charity, rather than 
on obligation which society owes to its superannuated workers. The 
application of the principles of charity in that case is unjust. Soci- 
ety, in carrying out its own ideas of economic law, has left thi'm, after 
a lifetime of hard labor completely stranded, like ship-wreckod mari- 
ners on the arctic shore of time. It owes them a living, and should 
pay its debts."** 

In his inaugural address to the members of the Massachusetts Leg- 
islature of 1917, Governor Samuel W. McCall, recommended the 
adoption of a system of old age pensions which should be legarded 
strictly as a pension "granted in recognition of long and meritorious 
service to society." In answer to the objection that a pension would 
discourage thrift, Governor McCall states : "That the members of the 
groups to which it would practically be applicable, work for wages 
which would not permit of saving upon any sufficient scale and with 
little to save they would have little to squander." The New England 
Governor speaks of the need of old age pensions as a direct creation 
of modern machine industry which because of its speed and strain 
has no place for many workers who are unable to maintain the pace 
much beyond their prime of life. The problem as stated by him i.-? 
that "It does not necessarily mean that they are worn out, but they 
cannot keep up with the demands of the modern methods of produc- 
tion and thus they are thrown out of their accustomed work at a 
period of life and under circumstances when it is difficult, if not 

"QMotert by "MRRsachnsetts Commission's Report," p. 342. 



216 

impossible, for them to acquire efficiency in a new calling. If they 
have not made provision before that time arrives they are likely 
to become dependent.'" 

"Strictly, a wage should be paid during the period in which one is v. 
ordinarily able to work in such employments which would support 
him for his whole life. Thirty years of labor with the fast-flying 
machinery of our manufacturing establishments will enable the work- 
iiigman to produce more than with the appliances just before our era 
he could have produced in many centuries. It is not economically 
just to credit to machinery the whole saving in production and 
leave the man a derelict at the end of his working time. There should 
be charged against it the damage done him as a producing Agency as 
an element in the cost of production. If that element were not to be 
fairly represented in wages or in some other way we should have 
a deformed industrial system, which would absorb the vital forces 
of millions of men and then heartlessly cast them off with no hope of 
living out their days, except through the charity of their fellow men. 
It would be just to assess against production the cost of providing 
for the care of the worker during the period after his invalidity 
should come. Either that or the wage should be adjusted so that in 
ordinary cases it would enable the worker to make provision for him- 
self." 

The adequacy of the means existing in Pennsylvania to meet the 
problems of the superannuated workers, who often thru no fault of 
their own, are forced to become dependent was seen from the discus- 
sions ill the preceding chapters. An examination of the tables re- 
vealed that of all the multifarious forms of industrial, municipal, 
and fraternal pensions in the State the number of Pennsylvania wage- 
earners actually on pension lists in 1918 hardly reached ten thou- 
sand. In the seventeen leading industries listed, the number of 
former Pennsylvania employees actually receiving old age pensions 
Avas 2,152. The number of wage-workers receiving pensions from 
concerns having no regular pension system would hardly exceed an 
additional five hundred. Of all the railroad workers in the State only 
about four tliousand aged employees are receiving old age support. 
Tables 1-1 and 58 are significant at this point. However, even if these 
systems were operated more extensively, it is clear that they are 
largely dependent upon the arbitrariness of the employer, which 
makes the receipt of a pension very uncertain for many employees. 
The period of service required is often too long. These schemes, it 
was apparent, discriminate unfairly against those who cease to be 
employees. In a few cases in the contributory schemes, employees 
either do not have their contributions returned or have them returned 
without interest. Generally industrial pensions are considered 
nierely deferred wages. These industrial systems specify th?it a pe'V 



217 

siou may be terminated at any time; that the establishment of such a 
system is not to be construed as conferring a contiactuarial right, and 
lliat the company reserves the right to discharge an employee or 
terminate the system at any time. It is also pointed out by many 
students of the problem that these systems have an injurious efifect 
upon the independence and mobility of labor, as it ties a man to his 
job by discouraging him from changing from one employer to another, 
which, it is claimed, are important factors in the securing of higher 
earnings and better conditions for wage-earners. "I have known of 
a case recently in which a large organization in this country notified 
all its old men that if they did not return to work in the event of a 
strike they would lose their pensions."* Furthermore, these systems 
at best, as Avas pointed out by many employers, are possible only in 
^Inrge industries. 

Of the nearly fifty thousand public school teachers in Pennsylvania, 
only a little more than 600 are receiving pensions from the various 
retirement funds. The new State Eetirement Fund which is coming 
into effect in July, 1919, is expected to benefit more. The number of 
policemen, firemen, and other municipal and State employees in the 
State receiving old age pensions did not exceed 1,700. The inade- 
quacy of protection against old age provided by trade unions or fra- 
ternal organizations has already been discussed. It was seen that 
most of these are not established upon sound actuarial principles. 
Many have become insolvent and many more are liable to dissolution 
at any time. As a rule, all these pension funds are exempt from the 
strict supervision required of private insurance companies. The 
total number of pensioners in the State (not including pensioners of 
the United States) constitutes three per cent, of the total population 
os-er 65 years of age in the State. In other words, only three out of 
every hundred or thirty out of every thousand persons; 65 years of age 
and over, were protected by old age benefits in Pennsylvania in 191S. 
This percentage is cominited on the total population 65 years of age 
and over as given by the 1910 census. It is obvious that it would be 
still lower if the increase in the aged population during the past 
eight years was taken into consideration. That verv few old people 
in Pennsylvania are able to care for themselves even tho they are not 
dependent upon public or private charity has been disclosed from the 
house-to-house studies. It was found that but few under the in- 
creased cost of living could save for old age. 

That there is an old age problem is thus obvious. Practically all 
civilized countries have recognized it and have adopted one form or 
another of national schemes to cope with this. Even in tho United 
States there is developing a general recognition of the obligation 
of society to protect in their old age the veterans of its 'army of 



758. 
•Kev. 



V Father O'Grady, Bulletin of IT. S. Bnrcau of Labor Statistics— No. 212, p. 



218 

toil." Til is is evidenced by the rapid growth of industrial pen- 
sions and by the appointment, by numerous States, of commissions to 
study the problem. At least three States, Massachusetts, Arizona 
and Wisconsin have adopted some method to cope with this problem. 
Our own Governor, Honorable Wm. C. Sproul, in his inaugural ad- 
dress urged that "the important subjects of old age pensions and in- 
surance against sickness . . . will have to be given clot;e atten- 
tion, and the whole subject brought up for inclusion in the State's 
social program." 

The systems providing for old age as adopted in the various coun- 
tries are generally classified under the following main schemes: (I) 
'S'oluntary insurance; (II) Compulsory-contributory insurance; 
(ill) Gratuitous or straight pensions by the government. 

Voluntary insurance against old age may be classified into sev- 
eral types: (A) Private Voluntary Insurance, (B) Voluntary Insur- 
ance Under Public Administration, (C) ^^oluntary Subsidized Insur- 
ance. Under the first are included: (1) The old age benefits pro- 
vided by trade unions and fraternal organizations, (2) Insurance 
against old age by industrial corporations and (o) Insurance with 
private companies. All of these forms are business propositions pure 
and simple. They involve no state action except supervision. The 
extent of insurance thru the above agencies is very limited. 

(B) Voluntary Insurance Under Public Administration. In this 
form of insurance thei'e is no state subsidy, but the government 
sells annuities and insurance at cheap rates. In addition to govern- 
mental guarantees, the state bears the expense of adminis-t ration. 
This is the underlying principle in the state plans of savings in force 
in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Canada. The aim of this insurance 
is to facilitate savings against old age and to make it attractive and 
accessible to wage-earners. The amount of insurance is limited and 
opportunities are offered employers of labor to cooperate with their 
employees either by making contributions towards the payment of the 
premium or by collecting it. The advantage of this form of state 
savings over private insurance lies in the cheapening of the premiums 
by the elimination of profits and the cost of administration. 

(C) Voluntary Subsidized Insurance. The object here is to put 
a premium on savings for old age. The state in this case subsidizes 
individual thrift by means of a state contribution. These systems 
were practiced in France, Belgium, Italy, Serbia and Spain. They 
are devised with the special purpose of serving the wage-workers. 
The amounts of the subsidies vary in each country. The lalter are 
not given to the insured but deposited to his account and go to swell 
the amount of the pension purchased. 

The three preceding forms of voluntary insurance are the evolu- 
tionary outgrowth of one another. The chief reason urged in favor 



219 

of voluntary iusuvauce is that it encourages thrift and maintains the 
w;]t respect of its beneficiaries. It is pointed out however by all 
experts that in practice after many decades of effort it has failed to 
accomplish its purpose. Even generous subsidies do not seem to at- 
tiact more than a small i)art of the wage-earners, and in some coun- 
tiies these systems have to be partly or entirely superseded by other 
methods. "Voluntary subsidized insurance has never at any time 
or in any country accomplished its purpose. The common people 
don't insure."* Dr. Rubiuow after an exhaustive discussion of the 
voluntary schemes in the several European countries concludes: 

"1. That even a heavily subsidized system of voluntary old age 
insurance attracts only a small proportion of the working class, pre- 
sumably of the better-paid strata. 

."2. That even of those who begin accounts, a large and growing 
proportion fail to continue to make the necessary contributions with 
any regularity. 

"3. That usually only the minimum is contributed which is neces- 
sary to acquire the subsidies. 

"4. That the workingmen are forced to reduce their old age pen- 
sions in order to safeguard the interest of their families, and 

"5. That the pensions actually acquired are pitifully small."** 

IT. COMPULSORY CONTRIBUTORY INSURANCE. 

This form of insurance is a logical result of the failure of the 
voluntary systems. The great mass of wage-workers being either 
unwilling or unable to insure themselves against old age, 
Laropean governments sought to overcome this by making 
it obligatory for certain classes of wage-workers — whose yearly 
income did not exceed a certain amount — to insure them- 
selves against old age. The government making it attractive ou 
the other hand, by subsidizing the insurance. Germany was the first 
country in Europe to establish compulsory insurance of working 
people. A system patterned after the German one was later adopted 
by France in 1910. Systems embodying the compulsory principles are 
also established in Austro-Hungary, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxem- 
burg, Netherlands, Rumania, Russia and Sweden. 

Under the compulsory form of insurance all wage-earners earning 
below a certain income are compelled to insure. Salaried workers 
above a set amount are not obligated to insure but may, in common 
with^Bier classes, take out voluntary insurance. Participation in 
the plS^^gins at an early age. Contributions are generally made 
both by the employer and employee in equal parts. The state's con- 

• lunier "arital Insurance in the United States," p. 112. 
••^ubinowr^oriol Insurance," p. 344. 



220 

tribution consists of bearing the expenses of administration. In ad- 
dition, it also makes a direct contribution to the pension after it ha,* 
matured. In Germany the contributions of the workers are graded 
in accordance with their income, while in France it is uniform for all 
adult males, females and minors. The eui];loyees' contributions are 
collected by the employer who is alloA\ed to discount them from the 
wages of his workers. The age when one becomes entitled to a pen- 
sion is set at 60 years of age in France, and 70 years in Germany. 
Before a person, however, can receive a pension he must have a nec- 
ossarj' number of contributions; this in tiermany is 1,200 weeks, and 
ii' France thirty annual contributions. To protect also those who 
cannot make the required number of contributions, provisions are 
made in both countries reducing the required period of contributions 
by 40 weeks for each year of age over 40 in Germany and thirty in 
France, when the law went into effect. The amount of the pension 
allowed under these plans is very small, rarely exceeding $60 a year— 
an allowance which cannot obviously go very far. No country which 
has introduced compulsory insurance has at any time attempted to- 
raise more than fifty per cent, of the necessaiy funds from the insured 
persons. In Germany the contributions from the insured persons 
amount to about 40 per cent, of the total disbursements, v/hile in 
other countries it amounts to about 30 per cent, of the funds dis- 
bursed. 

The advantages of the system of compulsory contributory insur- 
ance are as follows: (1) Its possibility of universality. By means 
of compulsion, insurance cannot only be extended to all classes that, 
need most the protection against old age, but can also be made most 
effective. "Obligatory insurance, and obligatory alone, by making 
Ibe support of insurance an indispensable item of the family budget,^ 
will act upon wages in such a way as to raise its standard, which in- 
creased expenditure will be shifted upon the cost of production and 
I'rices, and thus make a general industrial condition to be borne with- 
out any appreciable hardship."* (2) Compulsorj^ insurance avoids 
tlie dependence upon charity. Under this system the worker gets his 
pension as a matter of right even when he is not poor. "It is not ii 
dead-level system. It preserves a normal relation between the stand- 
ards of life before and after the age of pension and also preserves a 
just relationship between services rendered and the rewards granted, 
for it is usually based upon 1he length of contributions, which is tlie 
length of productive activity."** (3) It encourages thrift even thp 
not of a voluntary nature. (4) The need of old age pensions is 
largely a result of the industrial problem and ought to be borne by 
industry. "It is economically just, in so far as it exacts a contribu- 
tion from the industry, for superannuation is not less a factor of 



•Quoted by W. F. Willoughby, "Worklngmen's Insurance," p. 33B. 
••Eublnow, "Social Insurance," p. 386. 



193 

The City of Monongahela "carries on its books what is known as 
the Special Firemen's Fund which fund was created and is sus- 
tained by the city's pro rata share from Foreign Insurance pre- 
miums received from the Auditor General out of which we care 
for sick and disabled firemen who become incapacitated by reason 
of fighting fire. The City allows for hospital, doctor bills and the 
amount equal to the daily wage or salary of the sick or injured 
fireman. We have in the fund at the present time the sum of 
15,069.88." 

The plight of the cities that have no systems of Firemen Relief 
and the reactions of those fire chiefs who are eagerly concerned 
in promoting the best interests of their departments, may be illus- 
trated from the following letters. The chief of the fire depart- 
ment of a city in the western part of the State writes: "We have 
no pension fund here and are not likely to have one. I have been 
trying to get our city fathers interested in the Fire Department 
but they take more interest in the garbage department, street 
department or any old department. I am ashamed of our equip- 
ment. I don't like to see firemen from other cities visit us. They 
go away laughing. We are way out of date. We have no pension 
fund and if we ever get it, it will be through Harrisburg and not 
through our city fathers." 

From Oil City the appeal comes: "If you can do anything for us 
to get one we shall appreciate it very much." 

The chief of the fire department of an eastern city, after stat- 
ing that they have no fund whatsoever adds: "Our fire drivers are 
not taken care of by any insurance in accordance with the Com- 
pensation Act, neither by the city or their respective companies, 
which I consider they should be. I hope that this information will 
enlighten you in the matter and compel the right party to provide 
compensation for them." 

Of even greater importance' than the question of providing old 
age pensions for policemen and firemen is the question of providing 
some form of relief in their old age for the general body of munici- 
pal employes. Policemen and firemen are comparatively better 
paid than the common laborers and the lower ranks of employes 
in general, and are tlierefore, better able to provide for old age. 
Our municipalities employ many hundreds of workers from the 
latter groups, who in many cases are paid a lower rate than that 
paid in the local private industries. These workers, who do the 
"dirty work," are obviously the group least able to save for old 
laee That these men who are responsible for the health and the 
manifold comforts, furnished by our modern cities and who loyally 



]94 

serve the muuicipality during the best period of tlieir lives, shoul 
not be left helpless in their old age is so manifestly a matter c 
justice that it needs no further emphasis. 

Pennsylvania is the leading State in the ITnion in the establisl 
ment of systems for pensioning their municipal employes in thei 
old age. Of the five cities in the country which have establishe 
such funds, Pennsylvania has two — Philadelphia and Pittsburg] 
having such systems at the present time. The only other thre 
cities in the country are New York, Boston and Chicago. 

On J?,Iay 20, 1915, the Legislature passed an act "requiring citiei 
(if the first class to establish a pension fund for employes of sai( 
cities and all county or other employes, if any, paid by an appro 
priation of the city councils thereof and out of the treasury o 
said cities." On the 28th of the same month a similar act "requir 
ing cities of the second class to establish a pension fund foi 
employes of said cities" was passed. 

Immediately following the passage of these resolutions botl 
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh established such funds. The formei 
came to existence on August 6, 1915, while the latter was organ 
ized on October 4, 1915. 

These funds were established in accordance with the provisions 
of the Legislature and are similar in many respects. 

In both cities the pension funds are administered by a Board 
of Pensions consisting of the mayor, the City Controller and rep- 
resentatives of the City Conncil. Only the Pittsburgh fund, how- 
ever, gives representation to the employes ; two contributing mem- 
bers are elected to the Board by the contributors. 

The beneficiaries in both funds are all salaried and regular 
employes of the city and county (except those who at the time 
of the approval of the act are provided for by the already existing 
pensions). The two pension schemes are still obviously inadequate 
as both provide that per diem employes, — for whom the need of a 
pension system is even greater — are not required to enter the system 
unless they so desire. The same exceptions to those already pro- 
tected by pensions are provided here also. 

These funds are made up largely from the contributions of the 
members — ^two per cent, of monthly salaries, not to exceed |4 per 
month. In addition, each city appropriates "a sum sufficient to 
maintain the pensions or compensations together with such amounts 
which may be necessary for administering the same." 

Before an employe can retire on a municipal pension, it is pro- 
vided in both funds that he must be at least 60 years of age, and 
haye been at least 20 vears in the service. 



195 

The amount of the regular pension is 50% of the average 
amount of wages received during the last five years but must not 
exceed flOO per month. In case of injury or disability one may 
be pensioned regardless of age or length of service in Philadelphia. 
The Pittsburgh fund, however, requires 20 years of service before 
one can receive a pension for disability. No benefits are provided 
lor dependents but in case of death, pension may be given to the mem- 
ber's estate. 



(5) STATE EMPLOYES' EETIREMENT PROVISIONS. 

At the present time there are two classes of State employes who 
may retire on pensions received from the State after they have 
fulfilled the specified requirements. These groups are the judges 
of the Supteme, Superior, Common Pleas, and Orphans' Courts and 
all "State employes in penitentiaries, reformatories and other insti- 
tutions operated by the Commonwealth, as well as those moi'O 
directly in the service thereof." 

The former group was first taken care of by an act which was 
passed in 1901. This act provided "for the removal of judges of 
the Supreme, Superior, Common Pleas, and Orphans' Court, per- 
manently disqualified by rea.son of physical or mental disability 
to jperform their judicial functions and duties with half pay for 
unexpired terms." In 1911 this 'nas amended "so as to allow 
them full pay during the balance of their terms of office and under 
certain conditions, half pay during the remainder of their lives." 

The ;i mended act provided in addition that "from and after the 
first day of January, Anno Domini one thousand nine hundred 
and twelve, whenever the Governor is of opinion, based upon satis- 
factory medical evidence, that a judge of the Supreme, Superior, 
Common Pleas or Orphans' Court, is, by reason of physical or 
mental disability, permanently incapacitated for performing his 
judicial duties, he shall notify said judge of his opinion, giving 
the reasons therefor; and if the said judge shall resign within 
thirty days after such notice ... he shall receive for the 
balance of the term for which he was elected if he shall so long 
live, the salary he would have received Iiad he remained in active 
service. 

"An A' judge of the Common Pleas or of the Orphans' Court, so 
resigning, who shall have served continuously in judicial office for 
twentv-five years or more, immediately prior to the date of his 
resignation, and shall have reached the age of seventy years, or 
anv judge of the Supreme, or Superior Court, so resigning, who 
shall have served continuously in judicial office for twenty years 
or more immediately prior to the date of his resignation 



196 

shall receive during the remainder of his life, after the expiration 
of his said term, one half of the salary which he would have received 
had he remained in active service. 

"Any judge of the Supreme or of the Superior court, who shall 
have served continuously in judicial office for twenty years or 
more, and any judge of the Common Pleas or Orphans' Court, who 
shall have reached the age of seventy years, and who shall have 
served continuously in judicial office for twenty-five years or more 
after his honorable retirement from the office by expira- 
tion of term, resignation, or otherwise, shall receive dui'ing the 
remainder of his life one-half of the salary which he would have 
received had he remained in active service." 

In 1917 the following changes to this bill were made. It was 
provided that "Any judge of the Common Pleas or of the Orphans' 
Court, so resigning, who shall have served continuously in judicial 
office for twenty years or more, immediately prior to the date of 
his resignation, and shall have reached the age of seventy-five years, 
or any judge of the Supreme or Superior court, so resigning, who 
shall have served in judicial office for twenty years or more, at 
the date of his resignation . . . shall receive during the 
remainder of his life, after the expiration of his said term, one- 
half of the salarj^ which he would have received had he remained 
in active service. 

"Any judge of the Supreme or of the Superior Court, who shall 
have served in judicial office for twenty years or more, and any 
judge of the Common Pleas or Orphans' Court, who shall have 
reached the age of sixty-five years, and who shall have served con- 
tinuously in judicial office for twenty years or more 
after his honorable retirement from office by expiration of term, 
resignation, or otherwise, shall receive during the remainder of his 
life one-half of the salary which he would have received had he 
remained in active service." 

The revisions made consist in reducing the period of continuous 
service for judges of the Common Pleas and Orphans' Court from 
t^-enty-five years to twenty years. On the other hand, the age 
when a judge of the lower courts may retire was raised from 
seventy years to seventy-five years of age. The only change made 
for judges of the Supreme or Superior Court in case of resignation, 
was, that formerly the twentv years of service had to be "immedi- 
ately prior to the date of his resignation." Under the amended 
plan, 'it is only required that he "shall have served in judicial 
office for twenty years or more." 

Fiirther modifications made are, that judges of the Supreme and 
Superior Court, may now also retire at sixty-five instead of sev- 
enty years of age, having sert^ed twenty years, which need not 



221 

modern industrial life than is the rate of accidents or of sickness. 

If it be just that each industry should contribute to the cost of acci- 
dent compen.sation in proportion to the number of accidents occur- 
ring, rather than that the entire cost be forced back upon the national 
treasury, it would seem to be equally just that an industry which 

'uses up men by forty-five or fifty-flve years may be made to contribute 
to the cost of old-age support in a greater degree than another indus- 
try or occupation in which men can preserve their produciive life 
until sixty-five. Looking upon it in another way, the justice of the 
claim may be admitted, that a contribution on the part of the indus- 
try to old-age insurance is but a deferred wage . . . If, under 
modern industrial conditions, it coiild be expected that the wage 
workers themselves would be able to raise the standard of wages to 
the necessary level so as to include the cost of old-age support, and 
that they would use this additional increment for that purpose, no 
compulsory system would be necessarv'. But the compulsory system 
ih necessary just because these two conditions are found to be im- 
possible."* (5) It does not burden taxation directly. (6) Com- 
pulsory insurance is urged because of the fact that more countries 
huve adopted this plan than any other, and because it has proved suc- 
cessful in Germany. 

The objections to the compulsorj' principle of insurance are: (1) 
It cannot be made universal as it omits many who may need such 
protection, no less than wage-earners. Tt is pointed out that it can 
only be made to apply to persons who are in regular employment. 
It is almost impossible to collect contributions of persons who are 
irregularly emploj'ed, of agricultural laborers, of those who are their 
own employers, of women who work at home not for wages, of small 
merchants, and so forth. (2) It is impossible even through com- 
pulsion to reach the poorest class of workers who are most in need of 
old-age support. These people cannot save enough to contribute to 
pension funds. Thrift among workers who do not receive a living 
\Aage, it is contended, is a mockery, uneconomic and unsocial. (3) 
Compulsory insurance lessens the quality of self-help and reliance in 
the individual. "If this is the country of wealth it is also the coun- 
try of individualistic ideals and achievements. It was founded to 
secure individual liberty of thought and action with opportunities for 
working o\it one's own salvation. This is its peculiar destiny and 
its special mission, and its greatest contribution to luimanity will 
be in terms of character rather than wealth. Not for any reason 
of sentiment, but because our national progress under the individu- 
alistic ideal has been such as to demonstrate its wisdom and sound- 
ness do T believe we should take no steps calculated to take us 
away from this path of development."** 

^^^^cial ln™''r|^^anae?; BuUettn of Bureau of Labor StatlsticB, p. 774. 
•♦Magnus W. AiuABimc , 



222 

(4) Where the compulsory system is established the sums con- 
tributed by the insured are practically insignificant. Not only does 
the state make a direct subsidy to the insured, but it also bears 
the expenses, which because of the inherent complexities of conduct- 
ing the administrative machinery, and the recording of facts for a 
long period of years with reference to contributions, is enormously 
expensive. It has therefore, been advanced that there is practically 
no difference between the state paying pensions outright, and collect- 
ing the contributions by the compulsory principle. (5) Compul- 
sory insurance is class legislation as it places the wage earning 
classes under a special regime. It necessitates the creation of a 
vast bureaucratic system. "It would be nothing but taxation, and 
being exacted from unwilling subjects, would carry with it none of 
the good influence of voluntary thrift."* (6) Old age is not a 
problem of industry alone for people grow old despite all human 
efforts. "Old age defines itself." (7) The amount of the pension 
is small and the age set is too high. The pension as paid in Euro- 
pean countries are, as is commonly expressed, "too little to exist on 
and too much to die on." (8) Compulsory contributions are in- 
elastic and cannot be adjusted to tlie particular needs of the various 
industries and localities. (9) It is un-American, distasteful and 
contrary to the American spirit. The compulsory principle, it is 
claimed, is intolerable and would not be accepted by the American 
cilizens. Mr. Arthur M. Hnddell, a dissenting member of the Mas- 
sachusetts Commission states the case as follows: "To my mind, com- 
pulsory insurance is un-American, and cannot be considered in any 
waj' as a solution of this question. The wages of the workman will 
not permit of any compulsory assessment for insurance. There is 
a vast difference between this and compulsory sanitary laws, com- 
pulsory education and compulsory quarantine laws. A poor man 
can comply with any of the above laws without ,an expenditure of 
money or in any way reducing his wages, which he could not do with 
a compulsory insurance law, as that would be equivalent to a reduc- 
tion in wages. There is not sufficient margin between the living ex- 
penses and the wages of the workman to permit that reduction in 
his wages."** 

Captain ^Vm. P. White. V. S. X., retired, argues: "We started i" 
our country as individuals, and up to a comparatively recent time 
we have insisted upon the individual's right to conduct his life in 
his own way. The Declaration of Independence says that this Gov- 
ernment was formed so that we might pursue individually life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness ; but the complications of modern society 
are bringing about the feeling that upon the whole body of society , 

'Charles Booth, "Pauperism And The Endowment 01 Old Age," p. 187. 
•"Massachusetts Report, p. 337. 



223 

rests the responsibility for caring for those who in the race have been 
crowded to tlie wall. And every civilization that lias existed where 
some part of the comnuinity has depended upon the state for its pro- 
tection, for its care, has gone to the wall." 

"There is one great nation that has existed for 4,000 years, and 
it exists to-day potentially the strongest people on the globe. They 
have believed in the individnal, or family ; and they will succeed — 
if they still stick to the idea — after all the rest of the nations of 
the earth have disappeared. Now, if we want to protect our civili- 
sation, we have got to insist on individual responsibility. We cannot 
shift individual responsibility to society. We have got to teach the 
principles of industry. We cannot allow our young men to grow 
up in the faith that society in the long run will take care of them, 
if through their indifference to their own care they should fall by 
the wayside."* 

(10) The compulsory principle is also believed to be unconstitu- 
tional as it obligates certain groups to set aside a certain percentage 
of their earnings to provide for old age. 

III. STRAIGHT OR NON-CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONS. 

Just as the compulsorj' insurance principle was an outgrowth of 
tl|e failure of voluntary insurance, so is the establishment of straight 
pension systems a result brought about by the complexities and in- 
effectiveness of the compulsory insurance principle. Straight pen- 
sions are comprehensive and immediately effective, as compared with 
the compulsory forms which require a long term of years before they 
may work themselves out and be able to cope with the immediate 
problems. Originally state pensions were given as a result largely 
of the pressing problem of poor relief. This form of outdoor relief, 
was an improvement over the indoor relief which bore the brand of 
pauperism. Under this system neither the employer nor the employe 
make direct contribiitions. The funds are paid out from the general 
treasury. Systems of gratuitous pensions have been adopted by 
Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, France, Great Britain, New South 
Wales and Alaska and Arizona in the United States. 

State pensions are usually granted to all persons complying with 
certain requirements. The specifications usually state that a person 
before receiving a pension must have attained a certain age; that he 
must have been a citizen of a long period of residence ; that he must 
not have an income from any source above the specified amount. And 
sometimes it is also required that he must have fulfilled a certain 
period of service. In addition to these, most countries require also, 
certain moral and character qualifications. In many countries pen- 

""isulletin Of U. S. Bureau Of Lahor Statistics, 212, pp. 759-760. 



224 

sions are denied on account of family desertion, neglect of minor 
children, drunkenness, or prison sentence. It is generally specified 
that pensions are given to the "deserving poor." The first of these 
systems was established in Denmark in 1891. Due to the influence 
of Lloyd George, a straight old age pension system was adopted by 
Great Britain in 1908. In 1915, Alaska and Arizona in the United 
States had enacted similar systems. Although the principles in- 
volved are the same in all countries, the requirements and qualifica- 
tions are widelj' varied in the several countries practicing these sys- 
tems of pensioning the aged people. 

The non-contributory form of old age relief is one of the most 
popular and most widely discussed plans. The advantages of this 
scheme over the voluntary and compulsory systems are as follows: 
(1) Its simplicity. Straight pensions are given only under definite 
and well defined conditions ; the amounts are fixed and require little 
administrative expense. (2) Straight state pensions are just, as 
it is the duty of the state to take care of its aged poor. This obli- 
gation of the state, it is pointed out, has been recognized by the lat- 
ter long ago in its distribution of poor relief. Pensions in old age 
would accordingly involve only the removal of the stigma and degra- 
dation of the present system of poor relief. It is claimed that the 
state, at present, relieves every class of suffering except old age. 
Pensions are, therefore, aimed to remove the sufl'erings and terror 
associated with old age. "It is compulsory now upon our citizens 
to make a living, but if they wish to become criminals, the state will 
support them. But the man who wants to remain a law-abiding 
citizen and try to support his family is compelled to provide for old 
age, when the facts are that he is unable at the present time to secure 
many of the comforts of life. Every law-abiding citizen has ren- 
dered to his country some service, which entitles him to look forward 
to a pension given in return ; and as at present the premium placed 
upon crime and poverty is un-American, something should be done 
to provide for the law-abiding, self-supporting citizen."* (3) Al- 
though nominally non-contributory, it is contended that in reality 
all have contributed in the taxes they have paid. Mr. Lloyd George 
pointed this out as follows: "As long as you have taxes upon com- 
modities which are consumed practically by every family in the coun- 
try, there is no such thing as a non-contributory scheme . 
Again, the worker who has contributed by his strength and his skiU 
to the increase of the national wealth, has made his contributions to 
the fund from which his pension is to come when he is no longer able 
to work."** It is thus argued, that those who have given a consid- 
erable part of their lives in useful service have already made those 



*A. M. Huddell, "MassachusettB Eeport," p. 338. 
••Quoted by Massachusetts Commission, p. 230. 



contributions to the state and are entitled to freedom from the dread 
and anxiety of their needs during their declining years, and from 
the 'brand of pauperism. (4) The cost of the pension could be met 
considerably by savings on poor relief. The extent to which this 
would hold true in Pennsylvania is discussed in other parts of the 
report. (5) Xon-contributory pensions by the state would encour- 
age people to greater loyalty, ambitions, independence and hopeful- 
ness. It is argued that, "any change that will increase the feeling 
of security and confidence with which wage-earners contemplate the 
future will tend to cause them to make rational provisions for the 
future." James T. Buckley, another dissenting member of the Mas- 
sachusetts Commission argues that, "Assurance through a pension, 
contributory or otherwise, that one's last days would be spent in 
peace and comfort, with no fear of poverty and want, would have a 
strengthening influence upon the individual, enabling him to go to 
his daily task with a calm and contented mind, and would tend to 
increase 'the sense of personal responsibility and independence.' "■'' 
(6) Pensions in old age would keep families more closely together. 
It would increase filial affection and respect for parents. "A pen- 
sion would bind the family more firmly together, for oftentimes the 
grandparent with a small guaranteed pension would be a welcome 
addition to the family of the son or daughter, when without this he 
would be only in the way."** 

The chief objections to straight government pensions in this coun- 
try were stated by the Massachusetts Commission on Old Age Pen- 
slcms. Annuities, and Insurance, in its report of 1910. This Com- 
mission concluded that, "The adoption of any scheme of non-con- 
tributory pensions in Massachusetts, or any other American State, 
seems inadvisable and impracticable." The reasons given were as 
follows: (1) The heavy expense involved in such a scheme. The 
Commission estimated that for Massachusetts to pay a pension of 
!jt;200 per year or |4 per week for half the population 70 years of age 
and over, would cost that State not less than |10,000,000' per year. 

The cost of providing pensions from 65 years of age and on would 
of course, be greatly increased. The 1910 census gives the popula- 
tion of Pennsylvania 65 years of age and over as 325,918. A similar 
estimate for half the population of 65 years and over in Pennsylvania 
would involve an expenditure of f 32,591 ,800. To this it is argued 
that the great part of this cost is already paid by the citizens at 
present by means of the different charita'ble and philanthropic forms. 
Moreover it is advanced by a dissenting member of the Massachusetts 
Commission that the argument of heavy expense "is fallacious; for 
the ultimate expense of any given project is the same, whether that 



•Md, p. 332. 

•*Ibld. 



226 

cost be levied directly upon those who are to benefit by the scheme,,, 
as in the proposed contributory schemes, or indirectly upon the same 
bimeficiaries through the medium of the State tax."* Again Dr. 
Rubiuow argues that "when an institution is to be established, first, 
its necessity, its usefulness, or harmfulness must be considered, and 
o]ily then the question of ways and means comes into the fore- 
ground."** (2) Straight pensions is class legislation as ittaxe« 
the rich for the benefit of the poor. "There is no real ground for 
the assertion that because an industrious man has failed to earn a 
sufiiciency, he has a right to be rewarded for his industry out 
of the proceeds of a tax levied upon his neighbors, to whom he has 
rendered no service, or none which has not been paid for in 
wages."*** 

(3) Gratuitous governmental pensions would destroy the habit 
of thrift, as it would lessen the sense of personal responsibility and 
independence. The case for this contention is stated by a leading 
opponent of social insurance in this country as follows: "It will un- 
dermine and tend to destroy the self-respecting character of our 
people as citizens of a democracy where economic independence, 
achieved by individual effort, self-sacrifice and self-denial, is, after 
all, the only aim worth while. However much we may be inclined- 
to permit ourselves to be deceived by specious arguments of guess 
work philanthropy into believing the gift is to help the recipient and 
not to hinder, such gifts, with rare exceptions, are opposed to the 
principles of character-building and of character-maintenance 
throughout all the years which constitute the span of human life. 
. Hold out the prospect that such effort is not necessary, 
that earnings may be squandered for a thousand and one needless 
purposes, that restraint upon family expenditures is not required,, 
and the most powerful incentive which makes for character and 
growth in a democracy is taken away."**** President A. T. Hadley, 
of Yale University states : "We need measures which shall increase in- 
dividual responsibility rather than diminish it ; measures which shall 
give us more self-reliance, and less reliance on society as a whole. 
We cannot afford to countenance a system of morals or law which 
justifies the individual in looking to the community rather than to 
himself for support in age or infirmity."***** 

These arguments are refuted by students of the problem by point- 
ing first to the fact that the great majority of the people who reach 
old age and who qualify for pensions in the countries having pension 
systems, is in itself sufficient evidence that there was either no habit 
of thrift to be destroyed or that the conditions of the wages were 

*Ibld, p. 332. 

••"Social Insurance." p. 281. 
•••William H. Lackey, Old Age Pensions, p. 103. 
••••Quoted by Massachusetts Commission, p. 233. 
Ibid, p. 240. 



227 

so low that savings were impossible. It is also evident that the 
habit of thrift can hardly be destroyed by a pension — which at best, 
is hardly sufficient to keep body and soul together— rpaid at the re- 
mote and uncertain possibility of attaining old age. On the con- 
trary, it is pointed out, it would be an incentive to saving as the pen- 
sion allowance meeting only the bar6 necessities would enable a per- 
son with a little savings to spend his declining days in comfort. 
The Wisconsin Industrial Commission, in its report of 1915 points 
out that non-contributory pensions do not discourage saving and 
cites the example of Denmark which was the first to establish such a 
system, and where after twenty years of experience the number of 
applicants for old age pensions shows a tendency to decrease rather 
than the contrary, so that it cannot be said that habits of thrift 
have declined. 

"I found in Denmark that the people who had most right to speak 
with authority on the subject maintain that the law has not acted in 
a way detrimental to thrift. The Inspector-General of the Sick Re- 
lief Funds holds that they are more thrifty." (Miss Sellers' evi- 
dence before Aged Pensioners Committee, 1903, p. 5).* "Whether 
we take Germany, Australia or Denmark, the answer is the same. 
Thrift, instead of vanishing before old age pensions, has actually in- 
creased. There has been more money placed in the German Savings 
banks since 1891."** 

The Australian Royal Commission in its report of 1907, concluded 
that "The question as to whether thrift is discouraged by Old Age 
Pensions has been enquired into Iby your commissioners, and they have 
arrived at the conclusion that the fact of a necessitous person being 
entitled to a pension of 10s. a week at the age of 65 years will not 
have any appreciable influence on saving habits at an earlier age." 
Mr. Miles M. Dawson, a leading authority is quoted as saying, "I 
think there has been an error about pensiojas checking the savings. 
In any country where it has been adopted, in Denmark, Great Britain, 
New Zealand, etc., the amount of savings has been continually en- 
larging."*** 

(4) It is also contended that non-contributory pensions would 
lower wages. This argument is based upon the following assump- 
tion: (a) Because of the direct competition of the pensioned em- 
ployee, (b) The prospect of a pension in future years would lead 
workers to accept lower wages than they would otherwise be disposed 
1o demand. This it is claimed is the case in the industries where 
pensions are now established, (c) It would encourage undesirable 
immigration, as it would invite immigrants from outside the state, 
and thus depress the \\-age rate by overcrowding the labor market. 

~i^ted by Harold Spender, "Contemporary Review, Vol. 93," p. 94. 
r.i^'SlJtin^of' V. S. Bnreau of Labor StatistlCB, No. 212, p. 778. 



228 

The fallacy of tlie lii-«t of (hose points has already been pointed out 
in another place, where it was shown that the number of people still 
able to do work at the agc^ when pensions are given is very insignifi- 
cant in Pennsylvania. These men are a vei'y unimportant factor 
in the labor market. ^loreover, this argument if true, would applj 
equally as well to any form of savings or even contributions from 
children. Again as was pointed out before, it is evident that a man 
with no income whatsoever is a more dangerous competitor in the 
labor market than the man Anth some means of support. The sec- 
ond argument is obviously far-fetched. Tt requires a lot of imagi- 
nation to suppose that the prospect of a \'eiy meager assistance in 
their old age would alone be sufficient to make wage-earners work 
for lower wages. Furthermore, it is known to all students that the 
wage rate paid, at the present time, does not presume savings for 
old age as a prime element and daily necessity of the working people. 
While there is some truth that in the industries having regular pen- 
sion systems the wage rates of certain classes of workers — especially 
those past their middle age — may be lower than in other industries 
not having such systems, it is because there is the incentive to work 
in the one particulai- industry over the other. How a state- wide 
pension system could have a similar effect is difficult to see. As to 
the third contention of encouraging immigration it is not borne out 
by the facts in the countries where such systems are in operation. 
Long terms of residence within the state is required everywhere, and - 
immigration, as is well known, is not popular with men past middle 
age. That a small pension given, when reaching old age would 
hardly be a sufficient inducement to young immigrants, is self-evi- 
dent. 

(5) Straight pensions, concludes the Massachusetts C'Oiamissiou, 
would have a disintegrating effect upon the family. "A non-contribu- 
tory pension system would take away, in part, the filial obligation for 
the support of aged parents, which is a main bond of family solidarity. 
It would strike at one of the forces that have created the self-sup- 
porting, self-respecting American family. The impairment of family 
solidarity is one of the most serious consequences to be apprehended 
from an experiment with non-contributory pensions."* 

Mr. A. M. Hnddell, in j)i('senting a dissenting opinion upon this 
point states: "The facts that are Ijefore us as to the influence of pen- 
sions on the American family have either been entirely overlooked 
or misconstrued by the majority of the commissioners. We have 
before us the pension of the veterans of the Civil War, their widows 
and orphans, and I fail to find the evidence that warrants any state- 
n'ent to the effect tJmt tJiis pension by the United States Government 
has disintegrated the family, or lessened 'fhe filial obligation for the 

•Report of Massachusetts roniniission, p. .301. 



229 

support of the aged parents,' or has in any way impaired the family 
xsolidarity. On the contrary, the ])ensions to the veterans of the Civil 
War has built up the American family, and the filial obligation of 
the family has been strengthened and its solidarity maintained. An 
old person living with a married son or daughter' that is striving to 
bring up a family and provide for them as an American family 
should be provided for, and give to the children a proper education, 
can find a place for the veteran or his widow who receives a pension 
from the Government in the family, because tliey do not take a\\ay 
from the family any of the necessities of life, or stop in any way the 
education of the children. At the same time, the independence of 
the veteran or his widow is maintained, because they have enough 
1o pay for their needs at that period of life . . . With this pen- 
sion the old veteran and his widow are made comfortable in 
their old age by living with their children, their friends, or in homes 
where they are paying their own way, and have a feeling of inde- 
pendence that old people should have. They know they are not 
taking away from the family any of the necessaries of life, or hamper- 
ing the education of the children through any expense of their own 
support. Any extra expense in the workman's family directly af- 
fects the education of the child, compelling him to leave school and 
seek employment to help maintain the family."* 

The same argument is also answered bj^ Mr. L. W. Squire as fol- 
lows: "Fortunately or unfortunately, according to the standpoint of 
religion and economics from which one views the matter, we Ameri- 
cans have not that concejition of the family, as the unit of society, 
and that reverence for old age, which is ingrafted upon the heart 
of the Oriental in all his religious and economic training. In China 
and Japan it is rare to And any individual in want above sixty years 
of age, who has not some relative, no matter how remote, whose ethics 
and religion command him to make a place in his home for the in- 
digent one, and provide for him as if he were a member of his own 
immediate family. Almshouses, private indoor or outdoor relief, for 
the old, are hardly known in those Oriental lands, where high ethical 
regard for the aged is instilled into the individual common mind 
from infancy. Unfortunately, however, in this country, no such 
esteem for the aged one prevails, except among his near relatives and 
especially in agricultural communities. In our manufacturing cen- 
ters especially, the helpless, destitute giandfather or grandmother is 
regarded as a distinct burden to the household, the carrying of which 
oftentimes forces the children out of school and into the streets, 
factories, or shops, in order to provide for the added increment to 
the household expenses which the taking on of an aged relative, no 
matter how near he may be to the immediate family, entails.''** 

•Massachusetts Report, pp. 334-335. 
•*01d Age Dependency, pp. 312-13. 



230 

Dr. Eubinow puts it this way: "There is a good, old-fashioned, 
atavistic nobility of sentiment about this argument which will greatly 
please all good men and women except those who have to be sup- 
ported by their children, and those who have to support their parents 
and also their own families on a wage-earner's budget. Scientifically 
the argument is certainly original, because it assumes the basis of 
the family to be the support of the older generation by the younger, 
while it has always been fairly well agreed upon by all students of 
society that the shoe was on the other foot, and that the care of the 
children by the parents was the proper function of family. It 
further seems to assume that we love our burdens, and that when 
parents cease being burdens the children cease loving them. 

"It assumes that the standing of a superannuated parent in a 
family is in an inverse proportion to the amount he is aJble to con- 
tribute to the family budget. It is an appeal to an ideal of a 
patriarchal family which has been dead for a century in every in- 
dustrial country, and which really never had any strong hold upon 
American life. Of course, its inapplicability to the aged single man 
or the aged spinster aunt will be evident. For it certainly cannot 
be claimed that the support of all spinster aunts is also a funda- 
mental principle of American family solidarity. Then, again, even 
married people may not have any children, or may have lost them. 
One must remember that New England was practising race suicide 
long before the term ever became popular. As a matter of fact, 
the very data gathered by the Commission shows that of the inmates 
of almshouses and benevolent homes over twenty-five per cent, were 
single and of those receiving outdoor relief fifteen per cent. 

"Furthermore, these data also show how these almshouses and 
homes do break down the solidarity of the American family. Of 
their inmates forty-two per cent, had adult children living at time 
of entrance, of the several thousand pensioners receiving outdoor 
relief, sixty per cent, had adult children at the time of investigation, 
and fifty-nine per cent, other near relatives. It is really surprising 
that the Commission did not recommend discontinuance of aid, both 
institutional and outdoor, because of the demoralizing effect upon 
said children and relatives. 

"However, the same table which conveys the information just 
quoted shows that while there were children in some 60 per cent, 
only in 22 per cent, were they able to render aid; that this propor- 
tion was only some 10 per cent, in case of the inmates of homes, and 
about 50 per cent, in case of persons receiving outdoor relief. More- 
over, it appears from another table that some 40 per cent, were re- 
ceiving aid from children or relatives, as outdoor relief is seldom 
bountiful."* 



•Bublnow, "Social Insurance," pp. 814-15, 



2J}1 

From the Commission's studies it was seen that in the case of both 
almshouse and benevolent institution inmates, more than sixty-flve 
and a half per cent, had no children living. Of the aged applicants 
for relief, about forty per cent, had no children, and among the gen- 
eral aged population, altho the percentage of those having no children 
a+ all was little more than ten per cent., only 24 per cent, of the aged 
were actually supported by children, while 43 per cent, had no other 
sources of income. 

(6) Straight pensions are objected to also because they resemble 
charity much more than a system of insurance in which the worker 
makes a contribution. This, however, depends largely upon public 
opinion. Considered in -the light of deferred real wages instead of 
poor relief, the receipt of a pension would not involve any degrading 
eflFects. 

(7) Non-contributory pensions by the state, argues the Massa- 
chusetts Commission will result in "mischievous political effects. It 
would open the door to political favoritism of various sorts." Wil- 
liam H. Lacky contends that "Such a question would infallibly pass 
into the competitions of party warfare. It would become in most 
constituencies one of the most prominent of electioneering tests. 
Rival candidates would be competing for the vote of a wage-earning 
electorate who had a direct pecuniary interest in increasing or ex- 
tending pensions and in relaxing the conditions on which they are 
given. Can it be doubted that in many cases their first object would 
be to outbid another, and that national and party politics would soon 
be forced into a demoralizing race of extravagance?"* 

(8) The constitutionality of such a scheme is also questioned by 
the Massachusetts Commission. Strangely enough, however, it ad- 
mits that firemen, policemen and teachers A^'ho "are not only 
rendering peculiarly hazardous meritorious services to society, 
but also have deprived themselves of the full opportunity of earning 
the largest returns for their services in a competitive way . . . 
have some claim upon the State for special consideration in the mat- 
ter of public support in old age. This claim, however, cannot exist 
in the case of persons employed in the ordinary competitive cnllings." 
The fallacious method of the Commission's reasoning at this point 
is self-evident. 

The basis of the Massachusetts Commission's opposition to the 
non-contributory system may be seen summed up in its concluding 
paragraph as follows: "A non-contributory pension system is simply 
a counsel of despair. Tf such a scheme be defensible or excusable 
in this country, then the whole economic and social system is a 
failure. The adoption of such a policy would be a confession of its 
breakdown. To contend that it is necessary to take this course is to 

trj^e roram, Volumn 28, p. 699. 



232 

assiime that members of the working cla-sw either cannot earn enough, 
or cannot save enough, to talie care of themselves in old age. If that 
be true, then American democracy is in a state of decay which no sys- 
tem of public doles could possibly arrest, but would rather hasten."* 

IV. THE gasp: for and against universal and 

PARTIAL SCHEMES. 

When either the compulsory-contributory, or non-contributory pen- 
sions are discussed the question whether they shall be universal 
01 partial, is to be taken into consideration. The universal schemo 
involves a total change of front as to the policy of public relief It is 
based no longer upon the theory of relief of destitution only. It aims 
tu extend pensions to all, or almost all, the aged over a certain age 
Vi'ithoot any conditions. The funds to be drawn from the common 
purse. This would necessarily involve a steady increase in both 
the number of persons and cost and would, as stated by Sir Gharles 
Booth, mean that "the policy of doing so is the opposite of that 
adopted in savage states, where the old, when incapable, are knocked 
en the head." No such system, however, is as yet, in operation any- 
where. The principle of partial insurance or pensions is, as was 
pointed out before, established now in many countries. Pensions 
established now by foreign countries are given only to men anri 
women belonging to certain wage groups or to persons having ful- 
filled certain specified requirements. 

The universal principle is advanced principally, because, it is 
argued, if pensions were offered to all aged persons, it would remove 
eiitirely the savor of dependency or paiiperism. Charles Booth, the 
foremost advocate of universal pensions in Great Britain, presents 
the case for such a system as follows: "The idea in the minds of 
those who think that poverty and desert should be the conditions of 
relief, tend rather to an elaboration of the Poor Law, which by classi- 
fying those who ask its aid and varying the awards, shall make them 
ill-' often a mark of merit as a stigma of disgrace. I must confess 
that this, to me, appears an impossible ideal. I can imagine no court 
ot inquiry that could be trusted. I believe that the selected poor 
who receive pensions or were provided for in almshouses, to which 
only their poverty and their good conduct entitled them, would still 
be considered and consider themselves paupers, by whatever name 
they might be called. If to obtain a certificate of merit involved :i 
searching inquiry into the past life of each applicant, it would, I 
believe, be strongly resented, and most of all by the most worthy. 
Even the simplest form such an inquiry could take, limiting itself to 
proof of thrift, would be unsatisfactory, as the best proof of thrift 

"Report of MassachiLsetts Comniission, p. 310. 



233 

v.f^uld always lie in having no need to apply.* He further argues: 
■'Indoor relief lacks humanity and outdoor encourages improvidence. 
We are therefore justified in seeking some better plan. Pensions 
at 65 are suggested, to be acquired voluntarily with state aid. But, 
to be effectual, the system must be universal, or the improvident 
would still trust to the rates (outdoor relief), and their treatment un- 
ceasingly oscillate between foolish kindness and unpopular severity. 
I r the system is to be universal, it must be compulsory ; and if com- 
pulsory, its cost, however collected, is taxation. Moreover, to be sat- 
isfactory, the system must apply to the old of our own time. We 
shall not tax ourselves for a benefit only to be realized after ■iO years 
have passed. But if this system is to be universal, and to apply to 
our own old people, the forms of insurance become absurd. Why ear- 
mark the payments and accumulate funds at all? It is not insurance 
Me require, but the endowment of old age."** In another connection 
he states: "Benefits which all may enjoy carry with them no slur. 
Educational endowments are enjoyed by the rich, free elementary edu- 
cation as bestowed upon the poorer classes, the facilities offered by 
free libraries, etc., are cases in point. Pensions open to all and 
paid for out of taxation would have nothing, either morallv or eco- 
romically, in common witli pauperism."*** And again, "No other 
plan of selection is possible except at sacrifice of independence. To 
select the poor is to pauperivse, to select the deserving is to patronize. 
To do either is to humiliate."**** 

In favor of the universal plan is also urged its simplicity and 
cheapness of administration. This system requires no complicated 
or troiiblesome conditions of eligibility, nor does it entail many 
details. 

Many of the objections to the universal plan have already been 
stated in the discussions of the compulsory and non-contributory 
systems. What has been brought against the former systems may 
apply equally as well, and even more so, against the universal scheme. 
Additional objections offered are: (1) Its increased cost. A uni- 
versal scheme is obviously the most costly of all pensio;i systems, and, 
it is pointed out, that to give a pension to all people— to well-to-do 
and wealthy who do not need them— is a waste of money. (21 There 
are also objections against the giving of pensions indiscriminately to 
undeserving persons such as criminals or paupers. "The inclusion of 
criminals and paupers within the pensionable population is indefen- 
sible on any ground of individual desert or public policy. Such per- 
sons clearly have no claim to a pension, whatever may be truo of the 
deserving and respectable aged poor. Moreover, the policy of pen- 
sioning the industrious and thriftless, the sober and the intemperate. 

— triT les Booth, "Pauperism and the BDdowjnent of Old Age," pp. 181-182, 
.•Knnt)i •■Pauperism," p. 23.5. , , 
..?Q",otod hy Jiassachnsetts Commission, ,.. 241. 
...•Booth. "Pauperism," p. 237, 



234 

the deserving and the undeserving, indiscriminately, would be in the 
highest degree pauperizing and demoralizing. It would put a pre- 
mium upon thriftlessness and dependency."* (3) It is also argued 
that any such state-wide scheme has no finality to it. Once embarked 
upon a venture, there would always be the agitation and temptation 
to reduce the age of pensioning and increase the pension amounts. 
(4) Under a universal scheme there would be even lesser means of 
preventing fraud and imposition. This, it is pointed out, is continu- 
ally taking place in array pensions. (5) The pensioner may dissi- 
pate his income on the day when it is paid. The pension, it is also 
claimed, would benefit little, those who are too old or infirm to live 
alone. 



♦Report of Massachusetts Commission, p. 243. 



CHAPTER IV. 



OLD AGE PENSION SYSTEMS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES. 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

The aim of this chapter is to present briefly the different systems 
adopted by the various countries to meet the problem of aged depend- 
ency. An attempt was made to bring the data up to date. This was 
only partly successful, however, as the literature and statistical mate- 
rial from European countries, readily obtainable under normal condi- 
tions, have been very meager during the past few years on account 
of the war. A careful search of the files of the libraries of the 
Congress, Federal Labor Department, American Association for 
Labor Legislation, and the New York public library failed, to disclose 
more complete information. Most of the data incorporated in this 
chapter have, therefore, been taken from recent studies, such as, the 
"Report of a Special Inquiry Relative to Aged and Dependent Per- 
sons in Massachusetts," 1916 ; I. M. Rubinow's "Social Insurance," 
1913, and such bulletins of the International Labor Office as were 
available, in addition to the various official government publications 
that have recently reached this country. It is interesting to point 
out that, altho, the consideration of the subject of old age pensions 
is comparatively recent in this country, it has been discussed and has 
constituted a problem of great significance, in many countries, for 
more than a half a century. At the present time, at least twenty-one 
foreign governments — including all the leading countries in Europe 
—and three States in the Union, as well as the Territory of Alaska, 
have enacted legislation of one form or another to cope with this 
problem. The divisions in this chapter are made in accordance witli 
the nature of the pension system in existence, i. e., either voluntary, 
compulsory, or non-contributory. The countries in each division 
are presented in alphabetical order. 

I VOLUNTARY AND SUBSIDIZED SYSTEMS OF OLD AGE 

INSURANCE. 

BELGIUM. 
The Beli^ian "General Savings and Retirement Fund" was origin- 
ally established in 1850. During the 50 years which followed, several 
attempts were made to attract a greater number of people into the 

(235) 



236 

fund by reducing the minimum of deposits, by influencing children 
from 6 to 14 years of age to join the fund, as well as by appropria- 
tions for annual subsidies by the national and provincial govern- 
ments to mutual aid societies, who induce their members to join tlie 
fund. Little success, howevei', was achieved thru these measures, as 
far as solving the pressing problem of old age relief. 

The law of 1900 was, therefore, enacted which sought to encourage 
wage-earners to provide annuities for old age, by assisting theui thru 
state contributions and by giving special grants to the needy aged. 
The law provides that any person over IS years of age may pay into 
the fund for himself or for another person. The depositors are not 
required to nuike regular payments either at fixed periods or of a 
fixed amount. Minimum deposits, however, are one franc (19 cents). 
The law excuded from benefits those classes who pay above a cer- 
tain minimum amount in taxes or licenses, and state officials who are 
entitled to old age pensions by virtue of existing hnvs. The age when 
annuities are payable is set at 05, and the amounts of the annuity 
cannot exceed 1,200 francs (.'52.''1.60). The government adds its 
contribution in the form of premiums which are added to the sums 
paid by the insured. Governmental premiums cease when the sums 
ciedited to the insured are sufficient to secure an annuity of 3fi0 
francs (|72.00). 

Originally the governmental allowances were rather small and did 
not prove sufficiently attractive to the old people. The amounts 
were, therefore, increased in 1003, so that the government gave an 
allowance of one hundred per cent, on the first six francs ($1.16) 
deposited by a person, who on January 1st, 1903, was between the 
ages of 40 to 45 ; for those persons who were between the 
ages of 45 to 50 on tha.t date, the subsidy rose to 150 per cent, and 
amounted to 200 per cent, on the first 6 francs (|l.lfi), to those per- 
sons who were 50 years old at the time the law was enacted. The 
effect of these subsidies may be seen from the following figures. "In 
1890 the number of insured was only 10,000 and undei- the influence 
or the subsidies began to grow, though slowly, and by 1899 it 
amounted to 1G9,000. The systeUiatic granting of subsidies ordered 
by the act of 1900, in one year doubled the nundier of depositors. In 
1902 it reached half a million. The increase in the rate of subsidies 
in 1903 brought the number to 036,000, and by 1910 it was well over 
1,000,000."* 

To meet the immediate problem of old age relief, the Belian gov- 
ernment in addition to subsidizing savings, practically established 
a system of temporary straight old-age pensions. A straight pension 
was given to all persons 65 years of age and over, if they w^ere Bel- 
gian subjects and had been residents of Belgium for at least one yeav 
prior to their application for relief. They must also have been work- 



•I. M. UubinoTT, "Social Insurance." p. S42. 



1>37 

men, which is defined as, "men and women habitually working with 
their hands for an employer, in consideration of a wage, whether 
such Avork be performed on time wage or piece wage, at home or 
away from home, and whether it be domestic, agricultural, industrial 
or handicraft work."* The applicant must also be in want, which 
means one whose resources are under ordinary circumstances insuf- 
ficient to enable him to support himself and his family in accordance 
with the standard of comfort prevailing among workmen of his trade 
in the district in which he resides."** 

The amount of the straight pension given is very small, namely, 
65 prancs (|12.55). The law also provided that persons who were 
not less than 55 years of age in 1901 Avere to get a similar pension 
when reaching the age of 65. But those between the ages of 55 an<l 
58 inclusive, were to get no pension, unless they have paid into the 
general fund for at least three years a total of not less than 18 
francs f.*P3.47 ). This was to have ceased on January 1st, 1911, but the 
law of May 11, 1912, made a further extension to persons who be- 
longed to the last named age group at the time of the passage of the 
act, which was to have prolonged it to 1914. Altho the experience of 
the Belgian fund has proved more successful than any other, it wa< 
obviously due to the extreme measures undertaken to attract depos- 
itors. The subsidies, in many cases amounted to practically straight 
governmental grants. It is also claimed that, in spite of these efforts, 
the average annual payment per account in Belgium has been steadily 
decreasing. 

CANADA. 

In 1908 the Canadian Parliament passed an act authorizing the 
issuing of government annuities for old age. Amending acts were 
passed in 1909, in 1910 and in June 191:!. The minister of trade 
and commerce, under this act, is authorized to make contracts with 
any person domiciled in Canada for the sale of an immediate de- 
ferred annuity, as follows: "(1) For the life of the annuitant, (2) 
for a term of years certain, not exceeding 20 years, provided the an- 
nuitant shall so long live, (3) for a term of years certain, not exceed- 
ing 20 years, or for the life of the annuitant, whichever period shall 
be the longer. Also for an immediate or deferred annuity to any two 
persons domiciled in Canada during their joint lives and with or 
without continuation to the survivor." 

No annuity can be granted on the life of any person other than that 
of the actual annuitant. It cannot be less than .¥50 a year and the 
total amount payable by way of an annuity cannot exceed |1,000 a 
year Exce]>t in eases of invalidity or disablement, no annuity shall 

irwonty-fourth Annual Report of Uiiits-d States Commission of Labor, Vol. 1, p. 511. 

• »Thid.. D. 512. 



238 

be payable before the age of 55 years. If the annuitant dies before the 
expiration of the specified number of years, the annuity must be 
paid to his legal representatives for the remaining number of years, 
unless agreements to the contrary have been made between the State 
and the annuitant. 

The system of government annuities is in charge of a superin- 
tendent of government annuities in the department of trade and 
commerce. Payments are made in three forms: weekly payment, 
yearly payment, and single payment. The rates for females are 
somewhat higher than those for males. Premiums may be paid to 
the departent directly or to any postmaster. Any person between 
the ages of 5 and 85 may purchase an annuity, and any contract 
providing for the annuity to commence at a greater age than 85, is 
subject to the same terms of purchase price, as if the age were exactly 
85. Plans are also provided by which employers may co-operate with 
their employes in the purchase of annuities. 

In addition to this voluntary insurance system against old age, 
the government has also provided for the benefit of the employes of 
the Inter-colonial Railways and Prince Edward Island Railways, a 
separate fund which was established by the Act of March 27th, 1907, 
and which was later amended in 1908 and in June 1913. Under this 
fund, the insured persons and the state contribute equal shares, the 
latter's contribution, however, cannot exceed $100,000 per annum. 
The employe's first monthly contribution is fixed at three per cent, 
of the monthly wage, and the remainder at one and one-half per 
cent. Pensions are given, (1) to those who have attained the age 
of 70; (2) to those who have become physically or mentally incapa- 
ciated; (3) to persons who have attained the age of 60 and wish to 
be retired from service (after 15 years of service in all the three 
cases) ; (4) to persons permanently disabled, as a result of injuries 
while at work, and (5) to persons who at the time when the act 
was passed have already reached tlie age of seventy and who have 
been at least ten years in the service. The amount of the pension is 
based on one and one-half per cent, of the average monthly pay re- 
ceived during the 8 years immediately preceding the granting of 
the allowance, multiplied by the number of years. of service. The 
maximum, however, is $20 per month, and cannot be more than two- 
thirds of the average monthly wage. It is also provided that before 
an employe can become entitled to participate in any of the benefits 
he must serve 6 months on probation, during which period he must 
contribute to the fund. 

ITALY. 

The Italian "National Institution For the Insurance of Workers 
Against Invalidity and Old Age" was establish in 1898. Since then 



239 



it has been amended several times. It is a system of voluntary in- 
surance for wage-earners as expressly avowed in its name. Its pur- 
pose is to offer protection against old age to manual laborers, and 
other citizens who pay a tax not exceeding 30 lire (|5.79) per year. 
Other classes also may insure themselves but have no right to the 
special subsidies. In the beginning, the government appropriated ten 
million lire ($2,000,000) and provided, in addition, certain other 
revenues, for the fund. 

The pensionable age is 60 years for men and 55 for women. Men 
employed in mines, furnaces, glass factories, foundries, railroads, etc., 
may be pensioned at 55. The pension may also be postponed to 65, in 
that case, increasing proportionately. The amount to be deposited 
annually is left to the discretion of the insured, but a minimum of 
six lire ($1.16) annually is required, no single contribution of which 
is to be less than 1 lire (19c). For the special industries mentioned, 
the minimum is nine lire. The government's contribution must not 
exceed ten lire (|1.93) per annum. Twenty-five years of contribu- 
tions is required, but this period may be reduced for persons ad- 
vanced in years; and special subsidies are also provided for those 
whose acquired pension would be too small. In case of permanent 
invalidity — which means the reduction to less than one-third of the 
normal earning capacity — payment of annuities is allowed after five 
years of contributions to the fund have been made. A special inva- 
lidity fund has been created for this purpose, and special benefits are 
given to invalids. 

The amount of annuities range from 120 lire (|23.16) to 360 lire 
(.^69.48). At the end of 1910 the total number of accounts opened 
was 300,000 amounting to some ,f5,000,000. The number insured, 
according to Dr. Eubinow, after twelve years of the fund's operation, 
constituted only 2 per cent, of the total population gainfully em- 
ployed in that country. He also claims that "the period of greatest 
growth for the Italian system seems to have passed. In 1906 over 
50,000 new accounts were started, in 1907, 35,000, and in 1908, less 
than 29,000."* 

•The fienres presented by Dr. Bnbinow, In his book on "Social Insurance," page 343, give the 
number of new persons insured in 1906 as 150,000. This is, doubtless, a result of a typographical 
error as the "BoUettino Dell UfBcio Del Lavoro, 1904 to 1909, and Die Arbeiter-Versicherung Im 
Auslande Dr Zacher, (emoted in the Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the United States Com- 
missioner' of Labor, Vol. 2, p. 1895, 1909), give the total number of insured during that year 
as 50 791. The figures given in the same table for the entire period — 1899 to 1908 — ^however, do 
not seem to warrant his conclusions. The table follows: 



Year. 

1S99, 

1800, — 

1901, 

1902, — 

1903, — 



Total Insured 
during year. 

T7« 


Tear. 
1904, 


Total Insured 
during year. 

31,429 


10,279 


1905, 


23,680 


20,324 


1906, 


60,791 


.. 64,470 

28,779 


1907, 

1908. 


35.160 

_ . 28,695 







240 

The Italian syistein has also a compulsory feature for the employes 
of the following governmental industries: tobacco, engraving and 
printing, salt works, railway employes, employes in the shipping in- 
dustry and sailors. The age of pensioning for these groups is the 
same as in the voluntary system. The monthly contribution required 
i! lire for men and one lire for women. The minimum pension is 480 
lire (,?92.64) for men and 300 lire (|57.90) for women. The state's 
annual contribution i^34 lire, l|6.56), for men, and 22 lire, (|4.25), 
for women. 

MASSACHUSETTS SYSTEM OF SAVINGS BANK, LIFE 
INSURANCE AND OLD AGE ANNUITIES. 

The Massachusetts system of savings bank insurance was devised 
and sponsored by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, and the 
^Massachusetts Savings Insurance League. The system first went 
into operation in June, 1908. The State law authorizes savings 
banks to establish insurance departments which may issue policietj 
upon the lives of persons, and sell annuities in accordance with 
tlie regulations provided by the State Insurance Commissioner. 
These savings banks have no stockholders and are operated solely 
for the benefit of the depositors. 

The author of tlie plan stated that the purpose of the act was: (1 ) 
"to give Massachusetts wage-earners an opportunity to secure safe 
life insurance at the lowest possible cost, as a substitute for indus- 
trial life insurance; ... (2) To give to Massachusetts wage-earn- 
ers an opportunity to make provisions for their old age by the pur- 
chase, out of current earnings, of annuities at the lowest possible 
cost. (3) It is also designed to furnish a partial solution of the 
problem of providing for the superannuated workingman, by making 
the opi)ortunities for saving the workingman's money as numerous 
as the opportunities for wasting it."* 

Under the savings bank insurance system the following forms of in- 
surance are offered to residents of the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts, or persons regularly emplo.yed therein: (1) Straight Life In- 
surance; (2) Twenty Payment Life Insurance; (3) Twenty Year En- 
dowment Insurance; (4) Old Age Annuities; (5) Combination Insur- 
ance and Annuities and (6) Immediate Annuities. The maximum 
life insurance policy written is .f4,000 and the maximum annuity 
cannot be for more than |800 per year. 

The expenses involved in the administration of the savings bank 
insurance is borne largely by the State. In order to reduce the ex- 
penses involved in this form of insurance, banks are not permitted to 
employ paid solicitors or house-to-house collectors of insurance 



"Report of Massachusetts Coinmission, pp. 191-92, 1910. 



24 i 

premiums. In addition, dividends to stockholders are also elimin- 
ated. As a result of this, it is claimed, that savings banks are able 
to offer insurance at considerably lower rates than the rates formerly 
charged by commercial companies. In addition, every policyholder 
at the end of each year receives a check from the bank representing 
his share of the net profits of the business. This distribution of 
profits, it is contended, has tended not only to reduce the number of 
l.ipses but also to encourage savings bank deposits. 

The following table shows the amounts of the monthly premiums 
for the ditferent policies : 

TABLE NUMBER 11 



Monthly Premiums of Some of the Old Age and Comhination Insur- 
ance Annuities. 





Old Age 


Annuity . 


Combination Insurance and Annuity. 


Beginning Annuity 










at Age 


$200 Annuity at 


$200 Annuity at 


$250 Insurance and 


$260 Insurance and 




Age 60. 


Age 65. 


$200 Annuity at 
Age 60. 


$200 Annuity at 
Age 66. 


15 


ti.es 


$1.06 


$1.89 


$1.28 


18 


1.76 


1.10 


1.97 


1.33 


17 


1.84 


1.16 


2.U6 


1.38 


18 


1.94 


1.20 


2.15 


1.44 


19 


2.04 


1.26 


2.25 


1.50 


20 


2.14 


1.32 


2.36 


1.57 


21 


2.24 


1.38 


2.47 


1.64 


22 


2.36 


1.46 


2.69 


1.71 


23 


2.48 


1.54 


2.72 


1.79 


24 


2.62 


1.62 


2.85 


1.87 


25 


2.76 


1.70 


2.99 


1.96 


26 


2.92 


1.78 


3.16 ' 2.05 


27 


3.08 


1.88 


3.31 


2.U 


28 


3.24 


1.98 


3.49 


2.25 


29 


3.44 


2.08 


3.68 


2.36 


30 


3.64 


2.20 


3.89 


2.48 


31 


3.84 


2.32 


4.11 2.61 


32 


4.04 


2.44 


4.35 2.74 


33 


4.34 


2.58 


4.61 2.89 


34 


4.62 


2.74 


4.89 1 3.03 


35 


4.92 


2.90 


5.19 1 3.22 


36 


5.24 


3.08 


5.53 ' 3.40 


37 


6.60 


3.28 


5.89 3.60 


38 


6.00 


3.48 


6.29 1 3.82 


39 


6.44 


3.70 


6.76 ' 4.05 


40 


6.94 


3.96 


7.24 4.31 


41 
42 
48 
44 


7.48 


4.22 


7.79 4.59 


8.08 


4.52 


8.40 1 4.89 


8.76 


4.86 


9.09 ! 5.23 


9.54 


5.22 


9.88 ! 5.61 


45 
46 
47 
48 
49 


10.42 


5.62 


10.78 6.02 


11.44 


6.06 


11.80 ' 1 6.48 


12.62 


6.58 


12.99 ! 7.02 


14.02 


7.14 


14.3fl 7.58 


15.66 


7.78 


16.06 ' 8.25 


60 
51 
52 


17.66 


8.52 


18.07 i 9.00 


20.12 


9.38 


•20.64 1 9.87 


23.18 


10.. 36 


23.63 


10.88 



16 



242 



Monthly Premiuws of Some of the Old Age mid Oomhination Insur- 
ance Annuities — Continued. 





Old 


Age 


Annuity. 


Combination Insurance and Annuity, 


Beginniner Annuity 
at Aee 


$200 Annuity at 
Age 60. 


$200 Annuity at 
Age 65. 


$250 Insurance and 

$200 Annuity at 

Age 60. 


$250 Insurance and 

$200 Annuity at 

Age 66. 


63 
64 


S:7.1b 
32.50 




11.54 
12.92 


27.62 
32.97 


12.07 
13.48 


55 
56 
57 
68 
59 


40.00 




14.60 
16.68 
19.28 
22.66 
27.20 


40.48 


15.19 
17.29 
19.92 
23.32 
27.88 


60 






33.56 




34.29 



The following table also shows in detail the growth of the system 
since its inauguration: 

Amount of Insurance in Force. — February 8, 1919. 

No. of Policies, 22,176. Amount of Insurance, $10,323,226. 

GROWTH IN TEN YEAKS. 



Tear 


Total Premium 

Income Ten 

Tears. 


Number ol 

Policies in 

Force Oct. 31. 


Insurance 

in 

Force. 


Death Claims. 


1909, . 


$25,377.29 
68,890.68 
76,348.92 
102,832.27 
124,205.08 
139,757.35 
164,058.96 
212,885.24 
261,562.27 
317,475.73, 


2,621 
3,318 
6,063 
6,652 
8,054 
9,439 
10,892 
14,030 
17,850 
20,709 


$992,761 
1,367,363 
1.956,038 
2,528,809 
3,150,806 
3,566,778 
4,341,205 
6,041,754 
8,161,144 
9,732,239 


$500 


1910 


3,622 


1911, _ , 


8,638 


1912, „ 


6,613 


1913 - - 


10,679 


1914, 


9,706 


1915, --- - - 


12,477 


1916, 


27,984 


1917, „ 


24,386 


1918, 


83,237 








$1,483,393.79 


$182,742 



For the ten years the system has been in existence, the total in- 
come is as follows: 

Premium income during ten years, $1,483,393 79 

Interest income during ten years, 201,140 55 

Deferred and uncollected premiums, etc., 54,178 24 

Accrued interest, 14,623. 07 

Total, $1,753,335 65 



243 

The amounts disbursed were: 

Paid in settlement of death claims $182,743 01 

Annuities paid, 2,168 36 

Paid policyholders in cash on surrender of policies, . . 100,095 48 

Paid policyholders in cash dividends, 182,298 57 

Dividends apportioned (1919), 45,818. 86 

Total paid policyholders, $513,574 28 

"From the above," writes Miss Alice H. Grady, Secretary of the 
Savings Bank Life Insurance, "it will be observed that there is 
reserved for the benefit of policyholders, or has already been paid 
back to them, amounts aggregating $1,585,844.01, that is, a sum 
largely in excess of the total amounts received from all policyholders 
since the system was put into operation. This is a most encouraging 
demonstration of the excellent earning power and conservative man- 
agement of the four banks which have been licensed to establish 
life insurance departments." 

The different insurance banks have agencies in large manufac- 
turing and commercial establishments, people's institutes, social set- 
tlements and trade unions. At the present time, the four banks 
having insurance departments, have established also forty-five public 
agencies in savings banks; nineteen public agencies in trust com- 
panies; 225 agencies in mills, shops and factories, and 20 other 
public agencies. 

The advantages of this insurance consist not only in its cheaper 
rates, but many other beneficial effects are claimed to have been 
brought about by these banks. Miss Grady claims that: "Coinci- 
dent with the establishment of savings-bank Ufe insurance in Massa- 
chusetts, the big industrial companies not only improved the condi- 
tions of their policies but also reduced the cost of their weekly pre- 
mium insurance about 20 per cent. The great significance of this re- 
duction has become increasingly apparent as the years have come and 
gone. For instance, during the year 1915, the wage earners of Massa- 
chusetts alone paid to the industrial insurance companies on weekly 
premium policies the astonishing sum of $12,000,000. Had it not 
been for the reduction in cost above referred to, it is a fair assumption 
that the amount paid to the industrial companies last year by our 
Massachusetts alone paid to the industrial insurance companies on 
weekly premium policies the astonishing sum of $12,000,000. Had it 
not been for the reduction in cost above referred to, it is a fair as- 
sumption that the amount paid to the industrial companies last year 
iby our Massachusetts people would have been not $12,000,000 but 
$15 000,000. Those $3,000,000 remain in the pockets of the Massachu- 
setts wage earners or have been used by them to purchase other 
necessities of life. Bearing this in mind, it is not difficult to under- 
stand why the State is wiling to contribute the modest sum of $20,000 



244 

a year toward the support of an institution wliich has been instru- 
mental in bringing about this immense annual saving to our people. 
One might even go so far as to hazard the suggestion that the people 
of Massachusetts aie getting an extraordinary good return on an 
exceedingly small investment.'"* 

The extent that voluntary insurance against old age may be ex- 
pected to relieve tiie problem of aged dependency in the United 
States, may be seen from tlie experiences of the Massachusetts sys- 
tem. On February s, 1919, after ten years of existence there were in 
force 14,085 level premium life insurance policies amounting to 
17,396,826; 8,091 employes group insurance policies amounting to 
12,926,400 and only 215 old age annuities amounting to $30,468. The 
total annuity contracts written since 1908 was 288, of which four 
were terminated by death, 20 terminated by surrender, six more by 
lapses and 4;j changed to other forms of insurance. These figures 
show clearly to what extent voluntarj^ insurance is succeeding in the 
United States. 

Miss Alice H. Grady, altho, admitting that "from the above it 
might be inferred that the people are not willing to purchase annui- 
ties," contends, nevertheless, that "this inference is not entirely cor- 
rect, the simple fact being that the people do not know about them. 
For lack of funds we have not yet been able to demonstrate what 
could be done by means of an educational campaign to teach the 
people what deferred annuities are and the advantage of this form of 
savings against old age. 

"We believe that if the time shall come when we are able to bring 
home to our people, by means of a systematic educational campaign, 
the knowledge and benefits of this system, we shall find them both 
intelligent and responsive to this form of appeal, and ready to make 
voluntary saving against old age, as they are now learning to do 
against sickness and death." 

SPAIN. 

The "Spanish Old Age Insurance Institution" was established in 
1908. It is chiefly modeled after the Italian system. It provides in- 
surance for wage workers and state employes. Salaried, or official 
employes, may be insured if their earnings do not exceed 3,000 pesetas 
(•17579) per year. The amount of the pension to be secured is left to 
the discretion of the insured. The maximum amount, however, is 
I 500 pesetas (.52S9.50) per year. The amount of the subsidy is also 
left to the discretion of the directors of the institute but must not 
exceed 12 pesetas ($2.32) per person, during the first ten years of the 
institution's existence. For the benefit of those who were of ad- 
vanced years, at the time of the establishment of the institution, spe- 
cial subsidies are granted. State subsidies are given only to those 
persons A\'ho have nmde some payments into the fund during the pre- 



245 

ceding year. The lattei" are denied also to tliose who are receiving 
pensions either from the government or private sources and to tliose 
classes who pay a direct tax above a certain sum. The participants 
ir the state subsidies must also be Spanish citizens, living in Spain, 
and over l,s years of age. 

The government has endowed the fund at its inauguration with 
500,000 pesetas (!»(i,50()). In addition it contriliutes annualy not 
less -than 125,000 pesetas (|24,12o). The insurance fund is kept 
separated from the government treasury and there is close relation 
between the national insurance institution and other old age insur- 
ance funds. Altho the government encourages private insurance in- 
stitutes, it does not grant them subsidies. 

SWITZERLAND. 

In Switzerland there are two contonal insurance organizations, 
the Social Insurance Fund of Canton Xeuchatel and the Old Age 
Insurance Fund of Canton Vaud. The former is a mutual organiza- 
tion with optional membership which was esta))lished by the cantonal 
IpAv of May 1."), 1906, and which enjoys a contonal subsidy. It pro- 
vides straight life insurance policies as well as mixed and annuity 
policies. 

Of the total number of policies during the year 1913, 6,620 poli- 
cies, representing insurance to the amount of .$1,242,920, were 
straight life insurance ])olicies, and 7,707 policies, representing 
|;2,653,750, were mixed policies and TATt policies, representing .|50,180, 
were annuity policies. 

The Old Age Insurance Fund established in Canton Vaud, by the 
law dated March 2, 1907, combines old age insurance with various 
forms of savings deposits. The premiums or deposits may be either 
definite or provisional; the latter may be withdrawn within 10 years 
after payment. The principal purpose of this is to enable employers 
to provide old age insurance for their workmen without being com- 
pelled to risk losing such payments, in case of tlie premature deatJi 
or disability of the insured. This insurance fund also makes special 
efforts to encourage deposits by women and children, especially 
school children. The cantonal government further makes very liberal 
contributions to the premium or de])osits of citizens of the Canton, 
who are industrial tradesmen or workmen, whose annuities do nor 
fall due before their 55th year, and whose annual premiums or 
deposits range from 6 francs (fl.Kl) and do not exceed (iO frano 

(I11.5S). 

The total number of the insured during tlie years 1912 and 191."! 
Avere 13 823 and 14,096 respectively; the total premiums received were 
$30 111 and |33,531, to which there was added |15,052 and .fl6,604 



246 

cantonal contributions. The total payments to the insured amounted 
to only $470, and |724, respectively. The comparatively low pay- 
ments are explained by the fact that the fund has been in existence 
a short time.* 

WISCONSIN. 

A State Insurance System was established in Wisconsin in 1911. 
The State sells both annuities and life insurance. Unlike the Massa- 
chusetts plan, the expense of administration is not borne by the 
State, but is paid from the insurance funds. No detailed information 
is available. 

II. COMPULSORY-CONTRIBUTORY OLD AGE INSURANCE. 

AUSTRIA. 

Agitation for a system of insurance for salaried persons, private 
officials, etc., began in Austria as early as 1888. A bill for that 
purpose was introduced in 1901. The first such law, however, did not 
come into effect until January 1st, 1909. This act provided a lim- 
ited system of contributory old age and invalidity insurance, re- 
stricted to certain classes of salaried employes. This act was 
amended in essential respects by an imperial decree on June 25, 1914, 
and was intended to become eiSective on the first of October, 1914, 
but due to the outbreali of the war, an order dated August 24, 1914, 
provided that the benefits should be retroactive as from the First of 
August, 1914. 

While the object of the insurance is to build up a right to an 
invalidity or old age pension for the insured person himself, it differs 
from most other compulsory schemes, as it is not a system of working 
class insurance, but rather of the middle classes. Only the following 
classes are compelled to insure themselves. (1) Employes working 
in Austria, who have the character of officials by virtue of their posi- 
tion; (2) those engaged in duties of a preponderately intellectual 
character, both of which groups must have at least a total annual in- 
come under one and the same employer of 600 kr., (Ifl21.80) ; (3^ 
those engaged in the managements of works or departments of works ; 
(4) supervisors over the work of other persons, and (5) those serving 
on the staffs of offices and counting-houses. Salesmen and othev 
clerks, come under the compulsory insurance only if they have re- 
ceived the required higher education. The law does' not compel to 
insure those engaged in domestic service or as workers and appren- 
tices in the production of goods, in industry, mining, agriculture and 
forestry. Exempted from the compulsory insurance are also, persons 
who do not enter an employment to which the insurance applies until 



•Economic World, New York, June 24, pp. 826-828, 

) 



2iT 

they are 55 years of age; employes of the state, commune, etc., for 
whom other provisions have already been made, but only in case their 
pension is higher than the lowest provided by the law. A number 
of other classes of employes are also exempt. 

The obligation to insure begins at the end of the 18th year. The 
insured are divided into six classes, according to their annual sal- 
aries which range from 600 kr. (|121.80), for the lowest class, to 
over 3,000 kr. (|609) for the highest class. Allowances, gratuities, 
etc., are included in the total income. The premiums paid monthly 
for the six classes range from 6 kr. (|1.22) to 30 kr. (|6.09). The 
employer pays two-thirds of the premium in the four lower classes 
and one-half of the premium in the two higher classes. In case of an 
annual income over 7,200 kr. (|1,461.60), the employe has to pay the 
whole premium himself. 

An old age pension is paid, in the case of insured men, either after 
4C years of contribution at any age, or may be paid after 5 years of 
contribution on reaching the age of 70. In case of women, only 35 
years of contributions are required, when the age of 55 has been 
reached, or after 5 years of contribution after reaching the age of 65. 
The amount of the pension varies with the salaried classes and the 
number of contributions made. The pension ranges from 180 kr. 
(136.54) for the lowest class, to 270 kr. (,^54.81) the second class; 
360 kr. ($73.08) the third class; 540 kr. (|109.62) the fourth class; 
720 kr. ($146.16) the fifth class, and 900 kr. (fl82.70) for the sixth 
class. The reduced pension amounts to two-thirds of the fixed one. 
. Pensions of half the amounts are also paid to the widows of insured 
persons, who drew an invalidity or old age pension during their 
lives or have acquired a right to such a pension. 

The administration is under a central pension institution and its 
local ofiSces. In 1911 there were 108,311 persons insured in Austria. 
The State also has a compulsory old age pension fund for the gov- 
ernment mining employes which was established in 1854. The State 
pays one-half of the contributions to that fund. 

CHILE. 

In February 1911, a law was passed in Chile requiring state rail- 
roads to establish a savings fund for the retirement of incapacitated 
salaried employes and workmen and for the compensation of persons 
injured in the service. 

The fund is constituted (1), by deducting 5 per cent, from the 
employes' wages; (2) by retention of the first monthly increase in 
pay (3) by the accumulation of fines and penalties, unclaimed pay,^ 
etc. and (4) by adding 54.8 cents out of every $365 of receipts. 



248 

Office employes who have been in the service for 10 years and who 
are completely incapaciated for work, may be retired with as many 
tonrtieths of 75 per ctMit. of earnings as their years in service Day 
hiborers employed in tin; maintenance of ways, etc., having ten years 
(tf service and totally incapacitated for work may be retired with 50 
per cent, of wages. Persons engaged in the upkeep of rolling stock, 
65 years of age, 30 years in the service and incapacitated for work, 
retire with 50 per cent, of wages. The year's work must be of not 
less than 250 days. 

Persons permanently incapacitated because of accident are compen- 
sated by the payment of full wages. 

FRANCE. 

After experiences with voluntary and subsidized insurance schemes 
lasting for more than half a century, France in 1910 was the flr^t 
country to follow Germany's example in adopting a national com- 
pulsory system of old age insurance. Since its first enactment it 
has been amended several times, chiefly by the acts of September 30th, 
1912; August 17th, and December 25, 1915. The present law pro- 
vides that all workers (salaried or wage-earners) earning less than 
3,000 francs (.';579i, must take out old age insurance. State em- 
ployes who do not come under the regulations of civil and military 
pensions are also required to insure themselves. The law has also 
exempted several large industrial groups who were already protected 
by more liberal compulsory provisions. The insuring of a person 
may begin from the age of 12. 

The contributions are of three kinds, depending upon the age or the 
sex of the insured person. Adult males pay 9 francs {|1.34) per 
year; adult females 6 francs (i?^l.]6i per year; and minors under IN 
years of age pay four and one-half francs (.f0.y7). The employer is re- 
quired to duplicate this contribution and is also made responsible for 
the entire payment of the premiums. He is permitted to deduct the 
worker's share from his wages, and receipts it by a system of special 
stamps which are affixed to the employer's card. 

The age when one may be pensioTied is 05. Pensions, however, may 
be drawn at 55 with a proportionate deduction in both the amount 
of pension and the state subsidy. The amount of a I'ension is baseil 
upon the number of contributions made and the age of the insured. 
In order to obtain a regular pension, 30 payments are required. 
This is reduced to 28 for all men who have performed at least two 
years of military service; and in the case of women, one annual 
payment for the birtli of each child is deducted from the "required 
thirty years. The i-^tate adds to each regular pension 100 francs 
(■^irKSO). This is still more increased by one-tenth to those person?', 



249 

of either sex, who shall have brought up at least three children to the 
age of 16. For those who have made less than thirty payments but 
more than fifteen, the state subsidy is computed on a basis of 3.33 
francs {|0.64) for each year of contribution. No state siibsidy is 
given in cases of less than 15 annual payments. 

To meet the immediate problem of relief for the aged, the law of 
1910 also provided that all persons who were already 35 years of 
age, at the time the law was passed, must insure. To those between 
the ages of 35 and 40, the regular state subsidy was given. If 4(i 
years old, in 1910, the sul)sidy was raised 2 francs and thereafter it 
was raised two francs for every additional year at which insurance 
began. Those over 65 years of age at the time the law went into 
effect, were continued to be given pensions in accordance with pre- 
vious laws. 

The number of persons insured under this act in 1913 was 7,854,132. 
The income for that year was 45,525,540 francs (-If 8.786,429). Tlie 
total number of persons pensioned in 1912 was 640,532. 

In addition to the compulsory insurance system, the Frencli law 
.also provides a system of voluntary insurance which is extended 
to private persons with small incomes, small employers of labor, 
peasant proprietors, independent workingmen, and wage earners 
with incomes of more than 3.000 francs {!t?579), but less than 5,000 
francs (|965). The act of December 25, 1915, raised the maximum 
life annuity from 1,200 to 2,-! 00 francs (!5;231.60— 1f463.20). 

An Autonomous Pension Fund for miners was created l)y the act 
(if February 25, 1914, which repealed the previous legislation on this 
matter. For the purpose of forming a basic capital for these pen- 
sions, the act provided that the mine ov.ners pay every month into the 
fund 4 per cent, of the wages of the workers. The regular contribu- 
tion is borne one-half by the employers and one-half by the workers. 
The right to a pension begins at 55 years of age. Miners who can 
prove that they have worked for wages for at least 30 years or at 
least 7,920 days, (absence on account of sickness is not deducted), in 
French mines, have the right, in addition, to a state allowance of 
100 francs and a bonus from a syiecial fund. In case of permanent in- 
capacity a miner is entitled to a pension regardless of age. 

The Act of June 5, 1915, Introduced the use of "social insurance 
books" (livret d' assurances sociales) for persons who at the sam.' 
time as they insure themselves lor a pension in the National Old Age 
Pension Fund, wish to arrange lor their dependents to receive a sum 
down upon their death. 

GERMAXY. 

Old a<'e insurance was first established in Germany in 1889. Since 
1911 the system of old age insurance constitutes a component part 



250 

of the German system of woikingmen's insurance, which includes 
besides the payment of old age pensions, sickness, accident, invalidity 
and survivors benefits. The German law provides that all persons 
whose annual income does not exceed 2,000 marks (|476), must 
insure. The obligation to insure begins with the 17th year. Public 
employes, otherwise provided foi, are exempt from insurance. 

Prior to 1916, the age of eligibility for an old age pension was set 
at 70 years. An Imperial law of June 12, 1916, reduced this age from 
70 to 65 years. This law was made retroactive taking effect as from 
the First of January, 1916. In addition to the old age pension, the 
German system also provides for an invalidity pension gianted in 
case of permanent disability before the pensionable age. The latter 
is given to all persons unable to earn one-third of the normal wages 
ir the same occupation and locality. As would be presumed, many 
more persons are receiving invalidity rather than old-age pensions. 
The former has steadily increased while the latter has steadily de- 
clined. In 1914, there were 91)8,339 invalidity pensions paid, as com- 
pared with 87,261 old age pensions. The comparative growth and 
decline of the two forms of pensions may be seen from-the following: 
In 1891 there were 31 invalidity pensions ; this increased to 405^35 
in 1900 ; in 1908 it rose to 86S,086, and in 1914 it numbered 998,339. 
The aggregate expenditures for the old age and invalidity pensions 
stood as one to two in 1894 ; it reversed to two to one in 1900, 8 to one 
in 1908, and 11 to one in 1912. The reduction of the pensionable 
age from 70 to 65, doubtless, reduced this proportion considerably. 
The consequences of this reduction for the first complete year, during 
which it was enforced, may be seen from the following figures: It 
is stated (Deutcher Reich sanzeiger, 6th, Feb. 1918), that the number 
of new pensions granted by the insurance offices of the various states 
increased from 11,276 in 1915, to 92,120 in 1916. Those granted by 
other offices of a special nature rose ten-fold in the same interval.* 

The expense of insurance in Germany is borne jointly by the 
state, the employers and the employes. The state, besides bearing 
the expenses of administratiou and of the payment of pensions — thru 
the postoffices — conti'ibutes, in addition, a fixed sum each year to- 
ward every pension. The amount of the weekly premium is paid by 
the employer and employes in equal parts. The employer is also 
made responsible for the insurance of all of his employes and for 
the payment of their premiums. He is permitted to deduct the lat- 
tcr's contributions from their wages, and receipts it by affixing special 
stamps to the worker's receipt cards. 

The contributions are not uniform but vary in accordance with 
the annual earnings of the workers. For this purpose, the insured 
persons are divided into five classes ranging from those earning 



•The Labonr Gazette, Marcli 1918, p. 98, London. 



251 

less than 350 marks ($83.87) per year, in the first class, to those 
earning more than 1,150 marks (|273.93) per year in the fifth class. 
Until 1917, the weekly contribution for these classes ranged from 
1(> pfennige (|0.038) to 48 pfennige (|0.114) per week. On Janu- 
ary 1st, 1917, however, owing to the extra sums expended as a result 
of the reduction in the age limit, the contributions were increased to 
18 pfennige per week for the first class, and 50 pfennige per week tor 
the highest group. 

In order to be eligible for an old age pension, one must have made 
at least 1,200 weekly contributions. To meet the immediate problem 
of old age relief the required number of contributions was reduced 
by 40 weeks for each year of age over 40 at the time the law became 
operative. Persons over 70 years of age at the time of the passage 
of the law were thus pensioned outright. 

The amount of the old age pension ranges from 110 marks (|26.20) 
per year, to 230 marks (3j54.7U) per year, according to the wage class 
the insured person is in. The government's contribution consists 
o1: a uniform state subsidy of 50 marks (|11.91) to all pen- 
sioners. The lowest annuity granted is 60 marks (|14.29) for the 
first wage class. This is increased by steps of 30 marks ($7.15) for 
each succeeding class until it reaches 230 marks (|54.79). 

The German system, in addition to paying pensions, makes also an 
efCort to prevent invalidity whenever possible. The invalidity insti- 
tute has the power to provide a course of medical treatment, such as 
would reduce or prevent the loss of earning power. For this pur- 
pose a chain of 65 or more sanitoria are maintained, which treat 
annually about 70,000 persons. It is claimed that 80 per cent, of 
the cases treated are discharged as cured. The institutes are also 
authorized to invest part of their reserve in such manner as will 
promote the social welfare of the working classes. In order to im- 
prove the health and well being of the insured persons, the insti- 
tutes have erected model dwellings for workmen, as well as conva- 
lescent homes, people's baths, labor colonies, etc. The insurance in- 
stitutes claim that this has resulted in a considerable reduction in 
the death rate and sickness rate in Germany. 

The invalidity and old age insurance system is administered by 
approximately 50 territorial and special "institutes" under the gen- 
eral supervision of the central insurance office. The administration 
is in the hands of highly trained experts. To each insurance oflSce 
are attached several boards of arbitration which adjudicate cases in 
dispute. These consist of a president and vice president and two rep- 
resentatives of both employers and employes. In~1914, the total cost 
of administration of the insurance system was 24,156,658 marks 
($5,754,116). 



252 

The avciage amount of old age pensions in 1!J14 was IGT.tli) niaiksi 
($40.02) or about |3.l]3 per month. Because of the steady rise iii 
wages which decreased the number of persons in the lower wage 
groups, the average pension i)aid has risen steadily. In 1891 it 
amounted to 124 marks (.f20 54). In 1900 it was .|84.67, and in 1908 
it was !f!39.5S. The average amount of this invalidity pension, in- 
creased from |41.(>0 in 1909 to $46.51 in 1913. In 1913 the number 
of x>ersons insured under the invalidity and old age insurance was 
10,323,800. This represented 24.4 per cent, of the total population. 
From 1891 to 1913 the distribution of the contributions towards 
the invalidity and old age pensions was as follows: The employers 
contributed •?418,026,865, representing 40.7 per cent, of tlie total con- 
tiibutions. The insured persons contributed a similar sum. The ag- 
gregate state subsidy during this period amounted to |191, 981,177, 
which represented 18.0 per cent, of the total contributions. The 
total contributions for the 22 years amounted to |1,028,034,907. 

On January 1st, 1913, the act creating the salaried employes' in- 
surance system came into operation. This was primarily for the 
payment of old age and survivors pensions. A waiting period of ten 
and five years respectively, for the payment of such benefits, is pro- 
vided, but this period maj^ be shortened by the payment of extra 
piemiums. Under this insurance institute, pensions are paid if the 
earning capacity of the insured has been lessened by 50 per cent, 
instead of two-thirds, as required under the general insurance system. 
The contributions here are made by the employers and employes with 
no state subsidy. During the year 191G, the total amount of contri- 
butions j>aid to the institute by the employers and employes, was in 
round figures 113,000,000 marks (,f 26,894,000 ) . This insurance sys- 
tem is very unpopular, as during the same year the obligation to 
insure was contested by many peoxjle. While only few pensions were 
given during the year 1916, the insurance institute for salaried em- 
ployes granted such other benefits as provided by law. First of 
these was the granting of juedical and curative treatments. The 
institute is objected to by many, as it is claimed, that its creation 
was mainly for political reasons, in order to separate the salaried 
employes from wage-workers, r,s a special class. 

GREECE. 

A compulsory invalidity and old age insurance system for Greek 
sailors was enacted in 1907. The cost is divided equally between 
the insured, the employers and the state.* 



♦Report of Special Inquiry' Relative to Aged and Dependent Persons in Masaachusetts, 191fi, 
p. 102. 



253 
ICELAND. 

A coiripulsory system of old age and invalidity insurance was 
established in Iceland as early as 1890. The act provides that "All 
servants between the ages of 20 and 60, all day laborers, and jseisoiis 
working with their parents nirist annually contribute to this fund 
10.27 for men, and .fO.O.S for women. The male head of each house- 
hold must pay this contribution for every person who resided with 
him during the year, but he may deduct it from the wages of his em- 
ployes. For non-payment of these contributions, property may be at- 
tached. The only persons exempt from paying contributions are 
those without means who are responsible for maintaining one or 
more dependents who are unable to provide for themselves ; those 
unable to earn wages on account of sickness or other causes; and 
those who have provided for their old age by purchase of an annuity 
of at least 150 kroner (|40.20). 

"Pensions are granted to persons over 60 years of age who have 
received no poor relief during a prior period of ten years. The 
minimum pension is 20 kroner (.15.36) and the maximum pension 
granted may not exceed 200 kroner ($53.60). 

"Funds are administered in cities' by the magistrates, in rural 
communities by the parish council, and these oflBcials may set aside 
as their salaiies, 4 per cent, ot all contributions levied. They must 
also elect two persons who audit the annual balance sheet of the 
respective funds."* 

LUXEMBUfW. 

Luxemburg first established a compulsory system of old age and 
invalidity insurance in 1011-12. The act provided that all persons 
earning not less than 8,000 marks (.f;715) annually must insure. Per- 
sons earning not more than 3,600 marks (.f858) may, in addition, take 
out voluntary insurance. 

The law also provides for institutional care to prevent incapacity 
and provides for the care of widows and dependents in case of death. 

The pensionable age was first set at 68 but an amendment, passed 
in June 1914, reduced it to 65 and provided that, "Any insured 
Luxemburg subject who has completed his sixty-fifth year of age, 
and who jnoves that he has worked in the Duchy for at least 2,700 
days in an occuj.ation subject fo compnlsoTV insurance, shall be en- 
titled to an old age pension." Also "Luxemburg subjects wlio on 1st 
Januarv, 1912, are sixty-five years of age or more, and who prove 
that during the five yeai-s which immediately preceded this date they 
have regularly exercised in (lie Grand Duchy an occupation subject 
to compulsory insurance, shall be entitled to claiTn one-third of the 

— Mleport of Special Inquiry Relative to Aged and Dependent PerBons in Maanaohuaette. 19t6. 



254 

original pension." And further, "Insured Luxemburg subjects who 
have completed the sixty-fifth year of their age within ten years im- 
mediately following 1st Januaiy 1912 . . . shall be entitled to old age 
pensions, if they give proof that during the five years immediately 
preceding 1st January, 1912, they have regularly exercised in the 
Grand Duchy an occupation subject to compulsory insurance, and 
that since that date up to the completion of their sixty-fifth year they 
have worked on an average 270 days a year."* 

As in Germany, the state, the employers, and the employes bear 
the expenses of the pension. The state subsidy amounts to a fixed 
sum of 48 marks (|11.43) for every insured man and 38.40 marks 
($9.15) for every insured woman. For this purpose, the Act of 1914 
sets aside a credit of 125,000 francs to be paid annually for 50 years, 
to the deposit of the Invalidity and Old Age Insurance Institution. 
The total contribution of the employers and employes is at the rate of 
2.1 per cent, of the wages earned. This is divided equally between 
the employer and the employe. The former was made responsible fo]' 
the payment of the premiums, by the Act of 1911, and was authorized 
to deduct the employe's share from the wages. The Act of 1914 modi- 
fied this, so that by mutual agreement, the retention of deductions 
corresponding to the contributions due, may be postponed until the 
final settlement, (this to be not later than December 31, of each 
year) ; and the share of contributions of agricultural workers, work- 
.ing partly on their own account and partly for others, shall be col- 
lected direct from such persons. The amendment also provides that 
the Managing Committee of the Insurance Institution may require a 
security to be deposited by contractors domiciled in a foreign coun- 
try, who temporarily employ in the Grand Duchy persons liable to 
insurance. 

The contributions to this fuud in 1912 were as follows: from indus- 
trial and miscellaneous occupations, 1,339,000 francs, and from agri- 
cultural, 53,777 francs. The benefits paid out during the fiscal year, 
1912-13, were 29,464 francs to the industrial and miscellaneous occu- 
pations and 16,045 francs to agricultural workers. 

NETHERLANDS. 

By an act passed on the 5th d' June, 1913, a system of old age and 
invalidity insurance was established in the Netherlands. It provides 
for compulsory insurance of aJl workmen in the Netherlands over 13 
years of age, who are not in active military service, and who'se annual 
income does not exceed 1,200 florins ($482). This Act also applies to 
seamen and workmen employed in a foreign country by Netherland 
establishments. The law exempts from compulsory insurance those 



•BtUletin of International Labour Office, Vol. 9, No. 7, p. 310, 1914, 



255 

vno work for wages by way oJ: exception and for short periods ; tiiose 
already entitled to a pension from the state or private establish- 
ments; and those who pay a property or an income tax exceeding 
^,000 florins. The government, it is also provided, is to pay an 
annual subsidy to the insurance fund of 10,000,000 florins ($4,020,- 
000), for a period of 75 years. Prior to 1914, the government also 
paid to the districts a subsidy of 50 florins (IpSO.lO) per pension. 

The insurance entitles the v.'orkmen to an annuity in the event 
of disablement or after the completion of his 70th year of age. 
Incapacity is defined as the inability to earn one-third of the normal 
wage. In case of death the surviving children receive annuities until 
the age of 13. In order to be eligible for an invalidity annuity, every 
insured person must have paid 150 premiums, x^fter the age of 70, a 
person is entitled to an old age annuity. Persons convicted of 
crime, recipients of public chai-ity and those of immoral character 
are disqualified from a pension. It is also required that one must 
have been a resident of the country for at least 20 years and a citizen 
for at least 5 years before he is entitled to a pension. 

Persons subject to compulsory insurance are divided into five 
classes in accordance with the wages earned. These range from the 
first class — those earning less than 240 florins (|96.48), to those 
earning 900 (f 361. 80) or more florins. The weekly premiums paid 
vary from 20 cts. (|0.08) for the first class to 48 cts. (|0.193) per 
week in the fifth class. The premium is paid by the employer who is 
entitled to deduct from the weekly wages a sum ranging from 4 cts. 
for the first wage class, to 24 cts., in the fifth wage group in the 
case of adults, and half the tunount of the premium for each wage 
class in the case of minors. The employers bear a greater share in 
the lower wage groups and bear an equal amount in the case of the 
upper wage classes. Military conscripts, while in service, are as- 
signed to the second wage class and their premiums are paid by the 
State. 

The amount of the annuity is computed as follows: The pension 
amounts to 325 times the total of the premiums paid up, which is 
divided by the number of the weeks during which the person has 
been insured. To this is added 14 per. cent, of the total amount of 
the premium paid up, whicli must not be less than one-fifth of the 
original pensions. "In accordance with this formula an insured 
person who has paid 48 weekly contributions each year, from the age 
of 20 to the age of 70, and whose wages were |5 a week up to the age 
of 25 $6 a week up to the age of f30, $7 a week thereafter would be 
entitled to a pension of about .f2.30 a week at the age of 70. In the 
c\'ent of his becoming incapaciated at the age of 30, he would from 
that time onward receive about fl.25 a week. Should such inca- 



25G 

pacity not occur until his 40tli year, he would receive about |1.50 t 
week, and if it did not occur until his 50th year, he would receive 
about *1.8(t a week."* 

The act also iivoxides that in cases of persons subject to compulsory 
insurance, if permanent disability may be averted by medical treat 
ment, the "Labor Council" may cause such insured persons to be 
subjected to such treatment or placed in a nursing institution at tlw 
expense of the State Insurance Bank. 

Besides tlie compulsory in.>nrance system, Netherland also pro- 
vides a system of voluntary, insurance for those exempted under the 
fiist system against invalidity and old age. 

^'OIi^^^AY. 

In February 1907, a ('omniission was appointed in Norway to study 
the problem of invalidity and iild age insurance. The Commission 
tinished its work in 1912, and submitted a draft of a bill for a 
national invalidity and old age insurance system. This bill proposed 
that all male and female persons residing in Norway or belonging 
to the crews of Norwegian vessels, Norwegian citizens in Norwegian 
employment in foreign countries and Norwegian citizens employed 
by foreign countries in Norw:iy, shall be compelled to insure them- 
selves against invalidity and idd age. The insurance to begin from 
the age of IG years. 

The proposed sclieme provides for the payment of an invalidity pen- 
sion — invalidity existing when the earning power is reduced to less 
tlian one-third the normal — after four years of conti-ibutions and aftei' 
a waiting period of 2(! weeks from the time of the invalidity. If a 
person earns 1,.'">00 ciowns (••^402) a year, he is not to be considered 
disabled under any condition. The old age pension matures at 70 
years. An invalidity pension ceases as soon as an old age pension is 
drawn. Medical and institutional care is also ])rovided in the pro- 
posed bill. 

The bill jroposed that the cost of the administration of the insur- 
ance should be borne by the state and the commune; the cost of the 
insurance proper, however, lobe met by the contributions of the in- 
sured persons. In addition, it is suggested that the commune pay 
2.") ci-o\vns (.'{Sfi.70) annually for every current invalidity pension. 
During the time of sickness or accident, the commune also to pay the 
cfiutribntions in case the insured person is unable to ])ay them him- 
self. 

The contributions are to be ])aid for 50 years, but persons over 70 
years of age are exempt from jiayments. Contributions are to be 2 
i;eT- cent, of the earnings but nol less than two crowns (|0.54) a year. 



*Report of a Special Inquiry Relative to Aged and Dependent PersonB in Massachnsetts , 1916, 
p. 102, 



257 

A fraction of one per cent, on the property of an insured person is 
added to the contribution. A deduction of 5 per cent, from the 
contribution is made for each dependent of the insured person. 
Ko child over 14, however, is to be considered dependent. 

The bill proposes a rather unique system of computing the amounts 
of the pensions. The framers of the bill assumed that, "On the 
coming into force of the insurance, the sums at present expended for 
public and private poor relief, which are raised by taxation, will de- 
ci-ease considerably. This should result in a saving to persons who 
for some reasons or other are exempt from insurance, and also to 
corporations, foundations, and societies, the income of which is sub- 
ject to special taxation. If such individuals and incorporated bodies 
do not give some equivalent lor this saving, they would actually 
obtain an advantage at the expense of the insured persons because 
expenditures which would otherwise be borne by all persons subject 
to taxation would in such a case be borne exclusively by the insured 
persons. Since the national insurance system does not intend to 
bring about such a shifting of the social burden, the bill provides 
that all persons who have ceased to pay regular contributions, all 
persons who are not subject to insurance, and all taxable corpora- 
tions, foundations, and societies, the income of which has not been 
taxed in the assessment on their stockholders, partners, or members, 
must pay to the national insurance institution an equivalent for their 
saving in taxes, the amount of which shall be determined on the 
basis of statistical computations.'' It is, therefore, provided that the 
total fund, in addition to the regular contributions, shall consist also 
of the insured person's savings in poor relief and private support, as 
well as the current invalidity subsidy of the commune. In order to 
make the pension uniform, a basic pension of somewhat more than 
5S crowns (|14.20) per year is, therefore, to be paid to the insured 
person regardless of the amounts of the premiums paid. The basic 
pension is increased in accordance with the number of contributions 
made, the economic conditions, and the number of the dependents of 
the insured person. An additional grant of 15 crowns (14.02) is 
given for every child under 14. If both husband and wife are receiv- 
ing a pension, 20 crowns ($5.36) for every child under the age of 
14, is granted. 

Contributions are to be collected along with the Communial taxes. 
The employers are to pay the contributions of their employes, as well 
as those of their employes' families. The employer may deduct the 
cost from his employe's wages. If the pension granted by the usua^ 
method of computation is too small, the commune may grant an in- 
crease.* 

— I^ZT-^-.,! •<-heine of National Social Inanrance for Norway, bj Nlcolay L. Biigge, Secretary In 
the :Nto^l?l«n ^Istry of Finance. (MannBCript copy In the Library of the U. S. Bnrean of 
Labor Statlstloi.) 



25S 
ROUMANIA. 

An act passed in 1912, established a compulsory old age and 
invalidity insurance system in Roumania. This act was modeled 
alter the German and French systems. It defines invalidity in the 
same manner as is defined by the Gerlman act. A person becomes 
eligible to an old age pension at the age of 65. Like the French 
system the contributions are made uniform for all classes. For the 
first ten years from the date Ihe act becomes effective, the amounts 
of the weekly contributions are set at 45 bani (|0.87). This is 
divided equally among the employer, employe and the State. The 
employer is made responsible for the entire payment of his own and 
his worker's contributions, but may deduct the latter's share from 
the wages. 

In order to be eligible for a pension, contributions for at least 12 
weeks must liave been made. The regular old age pension amounts 
to 150 lei (.|28.95). The invalidity pension is paid to the insured 
person after Ifi weeks of consecutive illness. The latter is increased 
by 10 bani (|0.02) for every weekly contribution in excess of 2,000. 

RUSSIA. 

There was no general provision for invalidity and old age insurance 
in Russia. Those provided will, such protection included the various 
government employes who, howt\er, covered a considerable field. An 
old age XJension fund granting pensions after 25 years of service to 
employes of State mines was established as early as 1797. In 1804 
this was extended to .all emidoyes of State factories. 

Before the revolution, there were several separate State funds in 
existence which required employes of the particular industries to 
participate. The Ttate Miner.s Fund paid pensions after 35 years 
of service, and required all over 18 years of age, engaged for at least 
one year in the work, to become members of the fund. The Railroad 
Employes Pension Fund required all employes of State and private 
railroads to insure themselves. A pension was paid after 15 years 
of service. A similar fund existed for the employes of the State 
Liquor Monopoly. A separate savings fund for old age also existed 
for the workers of factories and harbor works operated by the min- 
istry of marine. Another fund against old age was operated for 
the members of the volunteer ileet. A compulsory contributory pen- 
sion fund was also established for all the employes of the Zemstvos. 
Practically all these funds ■were controlled by the members of the 
particular funds. 

In 1914 the government's contribution to these funds amounted to 
117,994 roubles (|G0,694). 



259 
SWEDEN. 

In 1913, Sweden enacted a compulsory system of old age insurance 
which is more comprehensive than any of those in existence. Instead 
of limiting it to certain wage groups as is the case in most other 
countries, it is made universal in so far as it provides that every 
Swedish man or woman above the age of 16 years is subject to com- 
pulsory insurance, until the completion of his or her 66th year. 
The law exempts only persons who are permanently incapacitated for 
work; state employes already provided with pensions; elementary 
school teachers ; members, of the artny and navy, ministers of religion 
and the wives of persons thus exempted. 

The contribution is paid from the 16th year by every man and 
woman in the fortn of an annual tax or premium amounting to three 
crowns (IgO.SO). This contribution is increased by two crowns for 
incomes over 500 to 800 crowns : the surtax is increased by 5 crowns 
for incomes from 800 to 1200 crowns and by 10 crowns for incomes 
of 1,200 crowns and over. The law provides that the annual contri- 
bution payable by each persoji shall be collected by the commune in 
which the person is registered. The commune is also bound to ac- 
count, and pay into the fund an amount corresponding to the con- 
tributions that may not have been paid. The wife's contribution is 
to be paid by her husband. And the father is responsible for sucli 
pension contributions for children under 18 years who are registered 
as residents in his house. Should the employer pay a contribution 
on behalf of his employes, he may retain the sum disbursed out of 
the wages paid, within six months of such payment. 

The insurance benefit consists in an invalidity pension in the case 
of permanent incapacity for work, regardless of age, and in an old 
age pension on attaining 67 years of age, even if incapacity has not 
yet set in. The amount of the pension for men is 30 per cent, of the 
total pension contributions paid, and for women, 24 per cent. It is 
also provided that pensioners permanently incapacitated for work, 
whose annual income does uot exceed 50 crowns (|13.40), receive 
ill addition to their pension out of the Exchequer 150 crowns (|40.20) 
per annum per man and 140 crowns (|37.52) per woman. This sub- 
sidy decreases to one-half if the pensioner's income is over 50 crowns 
($13.40), and ceases altogether when the income amounts to 300 
crowns ($80.40) per man or 2S0 crowns ($75.04) per woman. In the 
event of fully paid up pension contributions, the pension addition is 
increased by .08 per cent, for every crown paid. The pension addi- 
tions are borne to the extent of three-quarters of the amount by the 
State while the remainder is divided between the Landsting and the 
communes. 



260 

Pensions are not given to those in receipt of poor relief or 1o 
habitual drunkards and idlers. If institutional care is given, the 
institution may claim the right to the pension in order to reimburse 
itself to the amount charged for the care of the pensioner. Imprison- 
ment or conviction for more than one month stops the receipt of a 
pension during that time. It may be claimed, however, by the de- 
pendents for their support. 

The law also provides that in order to become entitled to a higher 
ptmsion than that provided for in the act, every Swedish subject who 
has reached the age~of 15, may, by paying contributions not to exceed 
30 crowns (!p8.04) per annum become entitled to a higher pension. 
To all voluntary contributions paid within each year, an amount 
equal to one-eighth of the contributions, is added by the government. 
The amount of the pension being one and one-half per cent, of the 
voluntary contribution in the case of a man, and one-sixth less than 
tliat, in the case of a woman. The administration of the insurance 
is under a pension committee, the chairman of which is appointed 
by the king's representative — one for every pension district in the 
country — while the six members and their sribstitutes are elected 
bj the communes. 

To meet the immediate problem of old-age relief, a provision stipu- 
lates that, for persons who during the years 1914 up to and including 
1918, have acquired the right of an addition to their pension or sup- 
port, or to an increase thereof, Ihis benefit is to be calculated as from 
50 to 90 per cent, of the sums otherwise provided in the act; and 
for persons who when the act comes into force, are between the ages 
of 25 and 45 years, 27.5 to 20 per cent, for men or 22 to 16 per cent, 
for women, of the contributions paid. The increased cost is borne by 
the government. 

The number of pensions granted under this law in 1914 was 33,138. 
The amount paid was 1,875,457 crowns (.'if502,022), which was an 
average pension of 56.6 crowns (|15.17). It is also shown that pen- 
sions were granted to 10,565 men with a total of 623,120 crowns 
($166,996) or 58.98 crowns (?15.81) per capita; 22,573 pensions were 
granted to women amounting to 1,252,336 crowns (.|335,625) or 55.48 
crowns, (.'ifl4.87'l per capita. In 1914, the total number of persons 
insured under this act was 3,225,700. The contributions of the pen- 
sioners amounted to a total of 14,571,000 crowns (.|3,905,028). 
The number of voluntary cases insured in 1914 was 628. 

.SWITZERLAND. 

The National Assembly of the Swiss Canton of Glarus introduced 
a system of State old age and invalidity insurance in the Canton by 
the Act of the 17th of May, 1916, Insurance is compulsory for all 



261 

persons between 17 and 50 years of age who ha\e their legal demicile 
in the Canton. Persons who remove to another Canton may remain 
in insurance by paying au increased annual contribution; persons 
Avho settle abroad leave the insurance, but if they return to Switzer- 
land within four years they may re-enter the insurance by paying 
an increased contribution for the period of their absence. 

The funds are raised: (1) by an annual contribution from the 
Canton of 85,000 frcs., together with the interest from the Old Age 
and Invalidity Insurance Fund and other associations; (2) by an 
annual contribution from the Communes of 1 frc. per head of the 
population; (3) by an annual contribution of 6 frcs. from each in- 
sured person. The obligation to pay contributions ceases on reaching 
the age of 65. The annual contributions may be commuted by making 
a single payment ranging from 125 frcs. at the age of 17 to 470 frcs. 
at the age of 49. Disablement pensions are payable to persons who, 
having been insured for five years, become incapable of work on ac- 
count of illness or other infirmities for at least one year, regardless 
of their age. Old age pensions are payable from the age of 65. The 
right to draw an old age pension is conditional upon the insured 
person having paid altogether at least 400 frcs. (i. e., 33 years' con- 
tributions plus interest), otherwise the pension is reduced accord- 
ingly- 

The amount of the annual invalidity pension begins at 150 frcs. 
and increases annually by IG frcs., up to a maximum of 300 frcs. 
for men and 250 frcs. for women. The amount of the annual old age 

pension is: 

Men. Women. 

At the beginning of the 66th year, 180 frcs. 140 frcs. 

At the beginning of the 67th year, 210 frcs. 160 frcs. 

At the beginning of the 68th year, 240 frcs. 180 frcs. 

At the beginning of the 69th year, 270 frcs. 210 frcs. 

At the beginning of the 70th year & upward, 300 frcs. 250 frcs. 

A claim to a pension lapses if the insured person takes up his resi- 
dence abroad after beginning to draw his pension ; in this case the 
person concerned may demand the reimbursement, without interest, 
of the contributions he has paid. The insurance is effected thru the 
State Old Age and Invalidity Insurance Institution. Special provi- 
sions regulate voluntary insurance, to which persons of from one to 
17 years of age may be admitted.* 

There are also in Switzerland a large number of special funds 
with definitely restricted membership, such as the employes of the 
federal railways and of the post-ofiBce department. Membership here 
is made compulsory. The contributions are borne jointly by the in- 
sured persons and the federal government. 

- ,Bni letiD of International Labom Office, Vol. XT, Nob. 8, 7; 1018. 



262 

III. NON-COlSfTRIBUTORY OE STRAIGHT OLD AGE PENSION 

SCHEMES. 

ALASKA. 

The Legislature of the Territory of Alaska iu 1915 passed an act 
providing that, "Any pioneer of Alaska, regardless of sex, who has 
attained the age of sixty -five (G5) years and shall have resided in 
Alaska for ten consecutive yeais or more since the year 1905, and is 
entitled to the benefits of the Pioneers' Home at Sitka, Alaska, or 
of the Home for Indigent Pioneers at Fairbanks or elsewhere in 
Alaska (should the same be established) may in lieu of an applica- 
tion to be received and cared for at such home, make an application 
to the Board of Trustees of said Alaska Pioneers' Home, for an allow- 
ance to be paid out of the revenue of said Home; and thereupon 
said Board shall investigate the case of such applicant, and if they 
find that his or her case is worthy, and that he or she is in actual 
need of such allowance, the said trustees shall enroll him or her as a 
beneficiary of said Home . . . and in conformity therewith, an allow- 
ance shall be paid for his or her use as provided in Section three and 
four of this Act . . . Provided, that if any person pensioned under the 
pi'ovisions of this act, shall be admitted, to the Alaska Pioneers' 
Home or other Territorial Institutions, any pension granted here- 
i;nder shall be suspended during the time such person shall be an 
inmate of any such Territorial Institution, nor shall any pension be 
paid to any person who has been absent from the Territory of 
Alaska for a period not to exceed one year." 

The original bill provided for allowances not to exceed |12.50 
per month in any case. This was amended in the 1917 session so 
that as the law stands now ; "Each allowance granted shall be of such 
amount not exceeding twelve dollars and fifty cents (|12.50) per 
month, as said Board of Trustees in their discretion shall allow and 
be specified in the certificate having due regard to the necessities 
of the applicant ; provided that in the case of extreme emergency the 
Board may, in its discretion, make a maximum allowance to pioneer 
women, who shall be sixty years of age and otherwise qualified to re- 
ceive such allowance according to the provisions of this Act, in the 
Slim of twenty-five {|25.00) dollars, per month... and after being 
granted shall not be diminished in amount, but may be from time to 
time increased by said Board to an amount not exceeding said 
maximum. Provided, however, in case the Board of Trustees shall 
be satisfied that the beneficiary is in position to support himself or 
herself, or can be supported by his or her relatives, the Board may 
revoke the grant of an allowance, cancel the beneficiary's certificate, 
and strike his or her name from the roll of the beneficiaries." 



2m 

The Legislature in 1917 also provided that, "the sum of thirty thou- 
sand dollars or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appro- 
priated for the purposes of this act;. . .provided that the Board of 
Trustees shall not grant allowances calling for an expenditure in 
excess of fifteen thousand dollars in any one year ; and further pro- 
vided, that any excess fund not issued the first year shall be avail- 
able for use the following year." 

ARIZONA. 

At least one State in the Union, Arizona, enacted in 1915 by initia- 
tive petition and popular vote legislation granting old age pensions. 
These are given to all needy citizens of the United States who have 
been residents of the State of Arizona for at least five years prior 
to application therefore and who have reached at least 60 years of 
age. The pension amounts to |15.00 per month and is given so long 
as the pensioner continues to liv« in the State. This act had been 
held unconstitutional by the Superior Court of Arizona, in November, 
1915, and an appeal was then taken to the Supreme Court of the 
State. 

AUSTRALIA. 

The Australian old age invalidity act was passed on June IQ, 1908, 
and became effective July 1st, 1909. This act supersedes the previous 
old age pension systems established by the separate States of New 
South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. The new law which was 
amended in some essential respects in December 1912, applies to the 
entire Commonwealth, including the States of New South Wales, 
Victoria, South Australia, West Australia, Queensland and Tas- 
mania. 

The law provides for the granting of pensions to all males over 65 
years of age and females above the age of 60. Pensions are given to 
persons who have been residents of Australia for at least 2.5 years. 
They must also be of good character and not to have been imprisoned 
for four months within 5 years in the last 25 years. Pensions are 
refused to claimants who are wife-deserters, drunkards, etc., and 
are not given to those who own property above £310 (.f 1,509). The 
law also excludes from the pension right, Asiatics or aboriginal 
natives of Australia, Africa, New Zealand or the Islands of the 

Pacific. 

In addition to the old age pension the Australian act also provides 
for an invalidity pension payable to any person above 16 years of age, 
who is permanently incapacitated for work, provided that the person 
shall have resided in Australia for at least 5 years. The claimant 
for an invalidity pension must also have no claim upon an employer 



264 

for accident compensation and not to have property or income in ex- 
cess of the pension amount. The act of 1912 also specifies that gifts 
or allowances given to a pensioner by children, grand-chUdren and 
relatives, etc., are not included in the income. The above act also 
made naturalized citizens entitled to pensions from the time of their 
naturalization, instead of after three years of waiting, as was re- 
quired previously. The law also provided that permanently incapa- 
citated persons should include the permanently blind. By the Acts 
of Nov. 1912 and Dec. 1914, the government of Australia set aside 
a credit of three million, and five and one-half million pounds re- 
spectively, for the purpose of the invalidity and old age pension funds. 

No unifortn or fixed pension amount is provided. The law specifies 
that the amount of pension fchall be "at such rate as, having regard 
to all the circumstances of the case, the commission who determines 
the pension claim deems reasonable and sufficient." The pension 
must not exceed, however, £26 (|127) per year. And no pension may 
be paid of such amount as to bring the pensioner's total income 
above £52 ($250) per year. Where the pensioner has property, the 
pension is reduced to the extent of one pound ($4.87) for every ten 
pounds (148.70) of the net property exceeding 50 pounds (|243) ex- 
clusive of the home, or above £100 (|487) including the home. When 
both husband and wife are pensioners, deduction in case of each of 
them shall be one pound for every 10 pounds of net property above 25 
pounds. 

The number of pensioners in Australia has been increasing steadily, 
the following figures show the steady rise: 



Years. 



Number ol Old Age 
and Invalidity 
FenBioneis. 



Amounts Paid In 
Pensions. 



1909, — . 

1910, — 

1911, ... 

1912, ... 
1913,'.-. 
19U, .. 

1915, ... 

1916, ... 

1917, .. 



80,482 
65,492 
82,953 
89,834 
96,682 
104,645 
111,309 
91,783* 
93,672* 



£1,497,330 
1,868,648 
2,148,034 
2,239,048 
2,577,965 
2,704,809 



*Not including invalidity pensions. 

The cost of administering these pensions rose from £37,146 in 1910, 
to £48,407 in 1915. This amounted to £2, 9s, 7d. per cent, per 100 
pounds distributed in 1910, and decreased to £1, 15s, 5d per cent, 
in 1915. The average fortnightly pension amounted to 19s, Id in 1910 
and 19s, 5d in 1915. 



265 



The following two tables give a detailed account of the pensioners 
admitted during the fiscal year of 1916-17: 



TABLE NUMBER 72 

Old Age Pensioners Admitted During the Year 1916-1917 ly the Dif- 
ferent States of Australia. 



1 


C8 

1 


i 


1 

09 


1. 

B « 
|2 


OS 

1 

a 


125 


t> 


<y 


CG 


^ 


fn 



Total claims awaiting determination on 
June 30, 1916, and those received dur- 
ing the 12 months ended SOtb June, 
1917, 

Pensions granted during the year 1916-17, 

Total old-age pensions current on June 

30, 1916, - 

Old-age pensions current on June 30, 1917, 

Increase during the year after deducting 

deaths, cancellations and transfers, 



4,679 


8,633 


1,631 


1,065 


579 


546 


3,743 


3,132 


1,223 


961 


491 


433 


33,249 


28,446 


12,049 


9,318 


4,199 


4,622 


33,941 


29,064 


12,313 


9,436 


4,353 


4,566 


692 


618 


284 


117 


164 


44 



12,133 
9,983 

91,783 
93,672 

1.880 



TABLE NUMBER 73 

Age and Sex of Pensioners Adndtted in Australia During 1916-17. 



Age. 


Number of Men. 


Number of Women. 


Oomblned Total. 


60 


46 


2,063 


2,109 


ei 


35 


685 


720 


62 


40 


490 


630 


63 


47 


334 


381 


04 


107 


, 292 


399 


66 


1,012 


326 


1,338 


6S 


570 


209 


779 


67 


384 


196 


fiSC 


68 


357 


170 


527 


69 


270 


148 


418 


70 


260 


165 


415 


71 


181 


127 


30C 


72 


163 


106 


269 


73 


106 


111 


217 


74 


ao 


74 


164 


76 


73 


86 


189 


76 


90 


69 


149 


77 


53 


42 


95 


78 


40 


41 


!i 


79 


32 


27 


59 


80 
81 


27 
23 


40 
30 


67 
63 


82 
S3 
84 
85 
86 
87 
88 
89 
90 
91 
92 
93 


25 
11 


21 
18 


48 

29 


18 


12 


30 


10 


14 


24 


11 


7 


18 


10 
4 
2 
3 
3 
2 


7 
2 

'i 

1 

2 
2 


17 
6 
2 
4 
4 
4 
2 


Totals, 


4,095 


6,883 


9,983 



266 
DENMARK. 

Just as Germany was the pioneer in the establishment of compnl- 
sory old age insurance, so was Denmark the pioneer in instituting 
a state non-contribntoiy or straight pension system for the aged 
people. The main object of the Danish system was to assist respect- 
able old persons to maintain themselves without becoming paupers 
and thus forfeiting their civil rights. The public authority is re- 
quired to help anyone so long as he cannot provide for himself or 
for his dependents. Pensions in old age were inaugurated in Den- 
mark as early as 1891. 

The law provides that all persons upon reaching the age of 60vare 
entitled to a pension. The conditions of eligibility, however, are 
numerous, and rather vague in some respects while rigorous in others. 
The claimant to a pension must prove that he is unable to provide 
the necessaries -of life for Iiimself or his dependents. One cannot 
receive a pension if he has ever been convicted of a crime, unless 
subsequently restored to civil rights. The claimant must also not 
have squandered his means. He must not have received poor relief, 
except medical aid during the 5 years prior to his application for a 
pension. A pensioner must also be a Danish subject and a residert 
of at least 10 years in a fixed locality prior to application. 

The law specifies no fixed rules for the amounts of the relief to be 
granted. It provides that the relief given and the pensioner's other 
income, "must be sufficient for the person relieved and for his family, 
and for the treatment in case of sickness." What is a suflflciency iu 
decided by the local authorities. Xo account is taken of any income 
amounting to less than 100 kroner (.f26.80) per year. The nature 
of the relief given may consist either of money or goods, such a? 
food, fuel and rent. Usually, money grants are given in the cities, 
while the latter are given in the rural sections. Pensioners who are 
unable to care for themselves, are cared for in special homes, which 
are in the form of detatched cottages, or in single large institutions. 
During the years 1911-12 three per cent, of the pensioners were cared 
for in these homes. 

Pensions are continued imtil the conditions under which they were 
granted have changed. The pension is given to the head of the family, 
treating the family as a unit, and is larger for heads of the families 
than for individuals. In determining the amount of the pension, the 
former social conditions and manner of living are taken into consid- 
eration. Poor relief granted to the wife in the past is considered 
as poor relief granted to the husband. 

The expenses of the old age relief are borne equally by the State 
and the communes. The pensions are administered by the municipal 
and communal authorities who employ well trained men for that 



267 

purpose. The entire system is under the supervision of the Minister 
or the Interior, to whom all appeals from local authorities are taken. 
Since the inauguration of the system, the number of pensioners 
has increased steadily. In 1902 the number of pensioners was 60,066 ; 
in 1908 it was 71,185, and in 1911 it was 79,340. Of the 79,340 pen- 
sioners in 1911, 16,710 or 21 per cent, were heads of families; 20,085 
or 25 per cent, were dependents; 9,356 or 12 per cent, were single 
men and 33,034 or 42 per cent, were single women. The cost of the 
pensions has increased since the beginning of the system tremen- 
dously. In 1892 the amount spent on pensions was 2,600,000 kroner 
(1696,800) and in 1913-14 it amounted to 14,013,954 kroner ($3,755,- 
740). This cost was divided about equally between the national gov- 
ernment and the communes. 

GREAT BRITIAN. 

In England, the question of government provision against old age 
was in the foreground for half a century. The evils that were con- 
nected with the English Poor Law system are familiar to all. An at- 
tempt to relieve the problem of aged dependency, thru a system of 
voluntary savings and insurance, thru the post-offices, brought little 
success. Finally the British Old Age Pension Act was passed in 
1908. Since then it was amended in several essentials. 

The act of 1908 established a non-compulsory system of pensiona 
thruout the United Kingdom. This law provided for the granting of 
an old age pension to all men and women, married or single, who are 
over 70 years of age. The qualifications specified are, that the claim- 
ant must be a resident of the United Kingdom for at least 20 years 
prior to his application. He must be a British subject. A natural- 
ized British subject is eligible if he has been naturalized for twenty 
years, and has resided for the same period in the United Kingdom. 
Previous receipt of poor law relief or residence in a workhouse does 
not disqualify; but the receipt of poor relief, except medical aid, 
after the granting of a pension disqualifies the pensioner from a fur- 
ther pension. Paupers arriving at the age of 70, may if they choose, 
give up their outdoor relief or workhouse residence and receive an 
old age pension instead. The act also specifies that a pensioner must 
be so far ot good character as not to have been a prisoner during 
the preceding ten years, and not to have habitually failed to work so 
that his wife and children became dependent on public funds. The 
act also disqualifies from a pension habitual drunkards, persons actu- 
ally in prison or under detention as lunatics, as well as inmates of 
institutions, where the board and lodging amount to an income above 
the pensionable limit. The property qualifications are that the claim- 
ant's income must not exceed £31, 10s (|153) per annum. 



268 

The amount of the pension varies in accordance with the total 
income of the pensioner. The original act provided a maximum 
pension amount of 5s (|1.22) per week, for those whose annual income 
did not exceed £21 ($102). The pension is 4s if the pensioner's in- 
come is between £21 and £23 ; 3s if the income is between £23 and £2(5 
a year ; 2s when it is between £26 and £28, and Is between £28 and £31 
a year. Property yielding no income does not disqualify, but a house 
is reckoned at its rental value and savings in a bank is considered 
as if it were yielding 2^/^ per cent, interest. The incomes of husband 
and wife are added together and each is considered as possessing half 
the total. Regular allowances, gifts, etc., from friends, relatives, or 
charity organissations are included in the income. Pensions are paid 
to both husband and wife. 

In 1917 the government decided, "in order to assist cases of 
distress among old age pensioners, that an additional allowance 
of a maximum of 2s 6d per week, should be paid to those pensioners 
who are suffering special hardship from the high prices of food and 
other economic conditions arising from the war." 

The additional allowances are thus limited to cases of special 
hardship. These allowances are not granted also to^ members of 
infirmaries or institutions of the poor. The allowance is decreased 
if the pensioners means increase, and vica-versa. It was also under- 
stood that the additional allowances will only be payable during the 
continuance of the war, and may be withdrawn at any time the 
government so decides. During the war several other concessions 
were made by the British government to old age pensioners. 

In 1909 the number of pensioners was 647,494. This increased 
to 987,238 at the close of the fiscal year 1914-15. According to the 
census of 1911, 624 out of every 1,000 persons of pensionable age in 
England and Wales, were receiving pensions. In other words, only 
2 of every 5 persons, 70 years of age and over, in England and Wales, 
had an annual income of their own, amounting to at least £31 (|153). 
The expenditures on pensions increased from £8,077,110 ($39,307,259) 
for the year 1908-09 to £12,315,061 (.f 59,931,245) for the year 1913-14. 
In 1917, it is estimated, the amount reached into something like 
£18,000,000. 

The old age pension act is administered by the Local Government 
Board, which operates thru local pension commissions and paid pen- 
sion officers. In 1913 the cost of administering this systein amounted 
to less than five cents for every dollar distributed. 

A glance at the efficacy and the future prospects of the English 
Old Age Pension System, may perhaps be obtained from the following 
article, taken from the Local Government Chronicle of the issue of 
Oct. 27, 1917. "The Prime Minister, replying to a deputation from 
the Parliamentary Committee of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, 



269 

referred to the question of old age pensions, and said that he had no 
doubt the benevolence of the State would be developed and extended 
in the future, according not merely to its opportunities, but according 
to its means. When he introduced the Old Age Pension Bill they 
began by spending £8,000,000. The £8,000,000 grew to between £12,- 
000,000 and £13,000,000, at the beginning of the war, and now the £13,- 
000,000 had grown into something like £18,000,000. They now had 7s. 
6d. for the old age pensioner, and they had 5s. for those who were in- 
capacitated. That had made a difference which it was very difftcult to 
reckon or to portray in words, in the lives of hundreds of thousands of 
poor old people who deserved well of the community. He hoped the 
State would go on extending and recognizing the obligations it owed^to 
these people. He thought the worker in any rank of life ought to be 
able to claim as a matter of right from the community, the same 
security as the civil servant against indigence and squalor and misery 
when his strength had given out. The war had opened people's eyes. 
The sort of individual conflict which constituted almost the life of the 
rfation before the war was merging into a sense of community and 
fraternity which had come from common trials and burdens and sor- 
rows. He thought that after the war the country, shouldering the 
heavy burden of the war, would be in a better temper and a better 
frame of mind to consider every cause which was righteous, and the 
cause of the blind, the afflicted, the aged and the miserable amongst 
us were of that kind." 

NEW ZEALAND. 

New Zealand established a non-contributory old age pension system 
in 1898. Important amendments were made since, in 1905, 1912 and 
1913. The New Zealand law grants a pension to all persons 65 years 
of age and over who have been residents of the colony for at least 25 
years, and citizens for at least 3 years. It also provides that in order 
to be eligible for a pension, a pensioner must not have property ex- 
ceeding £260, ($1,265), nor an income above £60 ($292) per year. In 
case of a married couple the joint income must not exceed £90 ($438% 
The law also disqualifies from a pension Chinese or other Asiatics, 
Maoris, and persons imprisoned for 4 months during the last 5 years. 
Pensions are also refused to deserters of wives and children, drunk- 
ards and persons leading irreputable lives. 

The maximum amount of the annual pension in £26 ($127). One 
pound from the pension is deducted for every one pound of income 
over £34 ($165), and for every £10 ($48.70) of net property, in excess 
of £50 ($243). Income from property is not taken into considera- 
tion. It is also specified that a pensioner may retain a home to the 
value of £650 ($3,163), which shall revert to the colony at the death 
of pensioner. Parents' pensions, which are given to those having two 



270 

01 more children — and may be further given to the father at the age 
of 60 and the mother at the age of 55 — may in certain circumstances 
be increased by a sum not to exceed £13 (|63) per year. The law 
also provides for care in institutions for those who are unable to 
maintain homes for themselves. 

The pension system is administered by the Commissioner of Pen- 
sions and district Registrars, into which the colony is divided for this 
purpose. Pensions are awarded for one year only, but may be re- 
newed. 

The following table shows the steady increase in the number of 
pensioners and the cost of the scheme from its beginning in 1899 to 
1916: 

TABLE NUMBER 74 

Number of Pensioners and Amounts Spent in New Zealand, Since 

1899 to 1916. 



Year. 



1900, 
1901, 
1902, 
1903, 
1904, 
1905, 
1906, 
1907, 



Number of 
Pensioners. 



7, US 

11,286 
12,405 
12,776 
12,481 
11,926 
11,770 
12,582 
13,257 



Amount 
Spent. 



£3,124 
157,342 
197,292 
207,468 
210,140 
203,164 
195,475 
254,367 
314,184 



iear. 



1908, 
laoa, 

1910, 
1911, 
1912, 
1913. 
1914, 
1915, 
1916, 



Number ol 
Pensioners. 



13,569 
14,396 
15,320 
16,020 
16,649 
16,509 
18,050 
19,362 
19,804 



Amount 

Spent, 



326,199 
336,760 
362,496 
383,398 
406,256 
416,761 
416,776 
460,814 
479,339 



JAMES H. MAUREE, 

Chairman. 
(Mrs.) EDWIN C. GEICE, 

ALLEN W. HAGENBACH, 
DAVID S. LUDLUM, 
HARRY W. SEMPLE, 
ALVIN C. SPINDLER. 



271 



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APPENDICES. 



18 '™' 






(274) 



APPENDIX A. 



SOME TYPICAL CASES OF MALADJUSTED AGED DEPEND- 
ENTS FOUND IN OUE INVESTIGATIONS. 



(a). Cases Encountered in the House-to-House Studies in Philadel- 
phia, Pittsburgh and Reading. 

Mr. M. P. is 58 years old. A year ago he had a paraletic stroke 
and ever since that day he has not been able to work. Until a week 
ago, a trade union to which he belonged, had taken care of him and his 
sickly wife. However, according to the by-laws of the organization, 
benefits for sickness are only paid for one year. To go to the poor- 
house and be separated from each other was unthinkable to the still 
loving couple and so Mrs. P. is taking in washing and supporting 
the family. 

W. H., 62 years of age, was a trolley motormau who lost his leg in 
an accident. The car company bought him an artificial leg and gave 
him a position as watchman which he had kept till about two years 
ago, when he was discharged. He then worked in a stocking factory. 
When the factory started on government work he again lost his job. 
When visited, his wife had been sick in bed for 9 weeks. His daugh- 
ter-in-law is keeping the home together as best she can. She gave up 
her position in order to look after the old folk. In addition, she is 
also supporting her husband who is confined in a tuberculosis sani- 
tarium. 

Mr. H. is 68 years of age. Sixteen years ago he was hurt while at 
work at a well known Pittsburgh steel plant, which totally incapaci- 
tated him. His only son lost both of his legs at the same place. Not 
a cent was given to either the father or son. Now, in order to sup- 
port his aged father and mother, the son begs on the streets. 

Mrs. D. E. lives on Hope street, Philadelphia. She is past 60 in 
years and almost totally blind. She is stiU supporting her aged 
mother, 85 years of age. Hardly able to distinguish white from 
black she takes in washing and stands over a steaming tub of suds 
all day long in order to keep herself and her mother alive. She has 
three children living somewhere, but rarely hears from them. 

(275) 



276 

J. E. past 70 years of age, was found to be taken care of by an old 
friend, a countryman of his from the other side of the water. On 
being questioned the Good Samaritan replied, "If he works and 
makes a few cents he pays me a little something, and if not, all right. 
I keep him just the same." 

Eighteen years ago, before the compensation law went into effect, 
G. W. 72 years old, was injured in a locomotive plant. Being inca- 
pacitated for work he was dismissed from service without any pro- 
vision for support. His wife then took up the burden of supporting 
and for a long time sold shoe laces on the streets to earn enough to 
keep herself and her husband. She is now past 76 and is blind. 
Peddling on the streets is now also prohibited by law, and the two old 
people have nothing ahead of them except the poorhouse. 

Mrs. M., a widow, had not left her bed for three years. Her hip 
was fractured thru a fall on an icy pavement. Her age is 83. No 
person walks this earth whom she can call a relative, and she is de- 
pending upon the charity of strangers. Another old soul, verging on 
the brink of the great beyond, had taken Mrs. M. to her one room 
home and is sharing her ibed and fireside with her. During the day 
the latter peddles and begs on the streets. 

Mr. W. G. is 66 years old. He insists that he is "as fit as a fiddle." 
The employment agents, however, do not think so and for the past 
several months Mr. G. has been unable to find any kind of work on 
account of his age. 

In the prime of his life, W. A. B., 63 years old, had worked in a 
paper mill. He had for the greater part of his life earned on an 
average |12.00 a week. He raised a family of three children on this 
salary. At present, his children are old enough to support them- 
selves and W. A. B.'s pay envelope has, on account of war wages, 
f.ittened up to $23.00 a week. 

Mrs. C. B., a widow of 72 years of age and not in good health, man- 
ages to earn about $3 a week, gathering fern leaves on the mountains 
for florists. A grandson of 17 works, when he can, to help out. Her 
daughter with whom she resides gives her food and medicine. For 
weeks at a stretch in the winter, the old woman is ill and unable to 
get about, but nevertheless, hates the idea of being dependent and en- 
deavors to take in washing and do light work to earn what money 
she can to lighten her daughter's load. 

0. R., age 71, was hurt at his work while cleaning the streets of 
Eeading, Pa. His sister, who is a widow, keeps the house for him. 
She also goes out washing and with the money she earns, along with 
the $5 a week which O. R. gets from the Workmen's Compensatiou 
Insurance, they just manage to have enough to eat. 



277 

An old woman, born in Austria, has two sons in the army. She 
does not speak English. She did not know that her sons could help 
her in any way. Being considered an enemy alien she was afraid 
to ask for any help. These sons were her only support before. When 
visited, she was sick and supported by a son-in-law. 

Mrs. E. is 65. Her husband is too feeble to work. Mrs. R. works 
as a house maid to support herself. Four of her children are mar- 
ried and have large families of their own to support. One son is 
paralyzed. As a result, the father is living away from his wife, 
with a single daughter, who works in a factory. 

Mrs. G. 60 years old is divorced from her husband. She is living 
alone and has $2 a week income from rented property. She says she 
has not bought any clothing for the past eight years, as she makes 
use of her dead mother's clothes. She was sick all last year, but 
could not afford a doctor or even medicine. Out of the |2 per week 
she has to support herself and pay the taxes. 

Mr. R. is 61 years old. He is a widower. He has one married 
child. Since her husband has gone to war, Mr. R. took over the 
support of his daughter and her two children. When visited he was 
unable to find suitable work on account of his age. 

L. C, a widow of 65, was left without means of support when 
her two sons were drafted. They are now in Prance and she has not 
received an allotment from them. She has two married daughters 
but as they have families of their own they cannot help her. 

Mrs. K., a widow of 75, is forced to support a consumptive child 
who cannot work. She has another son in an asylum. Despite her 
age, she still works as a janitre.ss and supports her son. 

Mrs. R. is 72 years old. She is a widow and is taking care of two 
grandchildren whose father is at war. When she undertook to do 
this, her main support was a single girl, who was a telephone oper- 
ator. This daughter is not working now due to illness. Mrs. R.'s 
only income is $10 a week from property rent. 

B. K. is 56 years old. He is crippled, sickly and can do little worJc. 
His one single daughter is also feeble and cannot work more than 
a few weeks at a time. In addition, one of his married daughters, 
who was deserted by her husband, is depending upon him for sup- 
port. 

Mr. F. is 55 years old. He has a large family to feed and cloth. 
Thru his own efforts alone, he cannot make ends meet. In order to 
help out, he has taken his oldest son out of school to help support 
the family. The boy is about 15 or 16 years old. 



278 

Mrs. M. H. is a widow, age 72. She formerly was supported by her 
son. A year ago, while at work, her son broke his leg thru an acci- 
dent, and has not been able to work since. Besides his mother, the 
son has a wife and four children to look after. He receives about $20 
per month compensation. The son's wife, during the night, to help 
out, does cleaning in a public school house. 

Mr. S. is 52 years old. He has a wife and four children to support. 
His back was broken at work before the compensation law came into 
effect. His oldest child is 14 and works out with her mother to help 
support the family. 

Mrs. H. is 80 years old. She has worked aU her life and until a 
week ago took in washing. She is now in bed, unable to get up. One 
of her daughters, 58 years of age, altho crippled, manages to earn 
about |4 a week by cleaning. These two women are depending upon 
another daughter who takes care of the home by day and cleans offices 
at night. 

Mr. M. age 74, a widower, worked as blacksmith for a structural 
iron concern for 25 years. Twelve years ago he broke down on ac- 
count of the heavy work. Finding him unfit for work, the company 
discharged him. His only support now is a daughter who works as 
a clerk in an office. 

Mr. and Mrs. P., age 72 and 68 respectively, are living together. 
They have $1,500 in the bank and they tried to live on the interest, 
but this interest was not sufficient to meet their needs. They arc, 
therefore, continually drawing from the principal, and very much 
worried about living longer than the money will last them. 

Mrs. P. is 74 years old. In order to support a crippled husband, 
who cannot work, she takes in sewing, making an average of |4 a 
week. As she is very feeble herself, she cannot work for weeks at a 
time, during which period the couple are forced to go with very little 
to eat. Their children refuse to support them. 

H. G., who is 75 years old, is very sick as a result of paralytic 
strokes. Earlier in his life he was a blacksmith, but is totally incapa- 
citated now. Moreover, he needs constant attention. Mrs. G., who 
is 74, cannot tend to him, as she is feeble herself, and so the son must 
stay home from work and tend to his father. 

Mrs. C, age 60, supports her husband, who is disabled, on $5 a 
week which she earns by taking in washing. She has one son in the 
army but receives no allotment from him as he is married. This 
woman still keeps out of debt and manages to get along on her f5 per 
week. 



279 

Mrs. M., 60 years of age, a widow, is taking care of two grandchil- 
dren whose mother is dead and whose father is in military service. 
When visited, she had not gotten anything as yet from her son-in-law 
or from the Government. The son-in-law claimed, however, that he 
had made an allotment. 

Mrs. C. aged 65 is a widow. Her only source of income is her 
daughter, who earns $12 a week. Mrs. C."s sister is also dependent 
on the young daughter. This girl, the mother claims, is sacrificing 
her whole life to support her mother and aunt. 

Mr. W. is 75 and his wife is 70. Mr. W. has been blind for 2 
years and is unable to work. They have two sons. One has a large 
family of his own and is not able to support his aged parents and the 
other, who has been their main support, was drafted. Mrs. W. now 
goes out washing and cleaning in order to meet the necessary ex- 
penses. 

A. L. solves the problem of living in old age by stopping with each 
of her several married daughters for short periods of time. She 
makes the rounds at short intervals. 

W. C. A. age 50, drinks to excess. He does not support his family. 
His wife, age 43, supports the family by working in a factory. In 
addition, the husband spends most of the money she earns on drink. 

When Mr. S. was well and young he was a laborer in Beading, and 
earned as much as $5.50 a week. This he has been unable to do for 
the past 15 years, as he has been suffering from rheumatism and 
dropsy. He is now 66 years of age. He is supported by his feeble 
wife, who, in addition to taking care of her husband, is also support- 
ing an idiotic grandchild, 19 years of age, whose both parents are 
dead. Mrs. S. derives her income partly by taking in washing and 
partly by begging. 

Until eight weeks ago, Mrd. E. aged 69, whose husband 70 years of 
age did not work since 1900, when he was injured while at work in 
a Pittsburgh steel mill, took in washing for her living. This she is 
now unable to do as she is too weak. Her one married daughter that 
helps support the aged couple can no longer do so, as her own hus- 
band is now paralyzed. Her other daughter is a widow with small 
children and can hardly earn enough to support herself. Mrs. K. 
never asked for charity and would not listen to any such suggestions. 
She was still hoping to get well and take in washing again, and said 
she will never go to the poorhouse as long as she is still able to do 
some work. 



280 
(l). Typical Stories of Almshouse Inmates. 

Mrs. C, a resident of the Philadelphia Almshouse, is a widow 70 
years old. Since her husband's death she has worked in a restaurant 
as a cook and had managed to save up about $1,000. On this, she 
expected to live thru her declining days. But the bank in which she 
had deposited her money failed and with it went Mrs. C.'s money and 
hopes. Being too old to secure further employment she was forced to 
seek the poorhouse as her place of shelter. 

Mrs. H., a widow 80 years of age, is an inmate of the same alms- 
house. While her husband was living, he made good money and the 
two bought a little property. When her husband died she borrowed 
some money to meet certain emergencies and gave a mortgage on hec 
home. After a time she hired out as a cook in order to pay off hoi* 
debt. This she could not accomplish and the property was taken 
away from her. Having no children who could help her, and being 
very old, she had no other alternative but to enter the poorhouse. 

K. L., 57 years of age, claims that her son is making $50 a week, but 
refuses to support her, altho the court has placed an order on him 
to that effect. She charges that in order to get her out of the way 
her son had her committed to the poorhouse. 

B. L. is 61. She is single. When her father died, he left her 
enough money to live on. She lived on this for some time until a 
brother swindled her out of it. Having no other means of support 
she was compelled to go to the poorhouse. 

Mary F. is 56 years old and single. She has no one in this world 
except a married sister. This sister kept her fot some time. When 
Mary got sick and required some attention, her sister's husband re- 
fused to keep her any longer and she was forced to go to the alms- 
house. 

Mrs. B. is a widow 80 years of age. When her husband died he left 
her $2,000. She lived on this and took care of her son who was left 
a widower with a number of small children. Finally she got sick 
and was compelled to go to a hospital. Most of her mony was used 
up on medicine and doctor bills. After being discharged from the 
hospital and her money all gone she was sent to the almshouse. As a 
result of this, her son's family is broken up and the woman is heart- 
broken. 

Old Elizabeth C, 74 years of age, had lived for some time after her 
husband's death with her son who is fairly prosperous. On account 
of disagreements with her daughter-in-law, E. C. claims, the latter 
had succeeded in inducing her son to place her in the almshouse. 



281 

Mrs. E.'s husband, at one time, was the owner of three butcher 
shops and several mills. When he died, the papers of possession 
were stolen and others substituted in their place. She has not a cent 
left now. Her one son, when last heard from, was a traveling sales- 
man, but this was a long time ago. 

Mrs. D. is a widow of 73 years of age and almost totally blind. At 
her husband's death she was left a house and lot. Her son-in-law 
induced her to sell the house and lot for |600. Mrs. D. then went 
back to Germany, the country of her birth, and left the $600 with 
her son-in-law. When she came back to this country her money 
was refused her. Shortly afterwards, a §300 life endowment policy 
came due, but she claims to have signed it over to her son-in-law, 
not knowing what she was doing, because of her defective sight. She 
was then sent to the almshouse. 

(c). Cases of A'bandoned Parents Taken from the Records of the^ 
Municipal Court of Philadelphia. 

J. H., a widower of 80 years, came to court and said that he had 
had a son Patrick, who had died in the Philadelphia Hospital, leav- 
ing him |2,000 to keep him for the rest of his life. Soon after the 
funeral, Mr. H.'s daughter took him to an attorney's office for the 
avowed purpose of signing some papers concerning the funeral ex- 
penses. Not being able to read, he did this and later found that he 
had signed over all his money. He was then refused admittance to 
his daughter's home and was told to go back to the place where be 
had been living before. Up to the time of applying for aid from the 
court, Mr. H. had been stoping with a poor friend of his who, how- 
ever, could not keep him much longer. 

Mrs. B. is 56 years old. When her husband died their nine. chil- 
dren were placed in homes. She knows little about them now. At 
present she works in a hospital as a scrub woman earning $25 a 
month. Outside of this, she has no means of support. Three of 
her sons, however, are in the service and have promised to help her. 
Tn addition to this she asks that her other sons, James and Joseph, 
give her |1 a week each. Joseph is a brakeman on the Pennsylvania 
R. R. and lives in Delaware. When James was called to court he 
said that his mother drank to excess. That she was usually drunk 
when she had money and caused disturbances. He said that she was 
a disgrace to the family and tho he knew she would get drunk on the 
money, he would, however, give her a dollar a week. He did not 
want has address made known to his mother for fear of annoyance. 

Mrs. M., 62 years, has been living since the death of her husband, 
with one of her sons. One day, coming home from a visit to a friend. 



282 

she found a note from her son's wife, stating that if she did not 
leave her son's home, the wife would leave her husband. Eather than 
break up the domestic happiness of her boy, she immediately left and 
went to the home of one of her daughters. Being thrust out of her 
son's home had completely upset her and now she wanted to live by 
herself. For this purpose she asked that her son contribute |2 a 
week and her daughter |1 a week towards her support. 

M. C. R., age 65, came into court and said that he was living with 
one of his married daughters. Altho he was receiving a pension of 
|12 per month from the Pencoyd Iron Works, it was not enough for 
his support. Consequently he asked that his son John pay him $2 
and Jacob and Samuel $1 per week. Letters were written to the sons 
to come to court. They all agreed to pay their father $1 a week. The 
papers were signed and the case was temporarily dropped. Some few 
weeks later Mr. E. came to court and said that Jacob and Samuel 
paid very regularly and that John did not pay at all. When John 
was asked why he had not paid, he said that he could not afford it on 
account of the high cost of living. A Probation Officer investigated 
the financial conditions of John and found that he was retired from 
the grocery business, owned property and had a bank account. He 
also had a jitney business. The Probation Officer then went to the 
other sons and found they were only making |15 a week, and had 
wives and large families to support, but were satisfied with the agree- 
ment. When John was called to the Court for non-payments, he said 
that all his property was made over in his wife's name. And in 
regard to his jitney business, he claimed he received very few orders. 
However, the court insisted that he pay the amount stipulated. A 
few days later Mr. E. came to the court and said that he was now 
v/orking and could support himself and that he wanted the orders 
vacated on his sons. A week had not passed before Mr. E.'s married 
daughter came to Court and said that her father had never been able 
to work and was now living with her. She believed that her father 
had been taken to Court by his sons, and as he could not read had 
signed the rescinding paper without knowing what he was signing. 
John absolutely refused to pay his father anything. The other sons 
agreed to pay what the court stated. But before matters could be 
arranged, and John made to pay, Mr. R. died, which closed the case 
automatically. 

Mr. A. D., who is 73, came to court and said that he could not get 
steady work on account of his rheumatism. Consequently he found it 
hard to pay board to his daughter Elizabeth. When he asked his 
children for help they became impudent and refused. The children, 
when called to court, said that they were willing to give their father 
a home and to provide for him, if only he would keep away from 



283 

Elizabeth, with whom he drank freely. When one son was in the 
Navy, they said, the father received $15 per month as an allotment, 
but spent it on drink instead of on his home. Mrs. A. D. is an inmate 
of the insane ward at the Philadelphia Hospital at the same time. 
On asking A. D. whether he would stay away from Elizabeth, he re- 
plied that he would stay away from the whole family and live in a 
furnished room if his children would only pay his board. A Proba- 
tion Offlcer went to the home of Elizabeth and found her working in 
a factory, making |5 a week. Her home was very clean and com- 
fortable. All that Mr. D. wanted from his children was enough so 
that he would not be entirely dependent on Elizabeth. On question- 
ing Elizabeth's employer it was found that she was a steady and 
honest worker. On interviewing Elizabeth herself, she said that sh^ 
and her father could not agree with the rest of her family and that 
she was willing to support her father without the help of them. Shi 
had a very good appearance and did not look like a drinking woman. 
The people in the neighborhood of the D. home, however, insisted 
that both Elizabeth and her father had a very bad reputation. They 
stated that they were both worthless and that it ^-as a shame that the 
three respectable members of the family had to suffer for them. 
Before the court could take action, Mr. D. got drunk and was com- 
mitted to the alcoholic ward of the Philadelphia Hospital. 

Mary R., daughter of Mrs. W., said in court that she wanted sup- 
port for her mother from her brother John, who was a bridge builder. 
She said that she had supported her mother for 5 years and that John 
refused to help her. John came to court and said that his mother had 
lived with him about 5 years ago and that she did not know that he 
had been asked to help her. He said that he was willing to give his 
mother |2 a week and give her a home but he knew that she would 
refuse that. He signed an agreement to pay |2 a week. Some time 
later Mary R. came to court and said that John had made no pay- 
ments as yet, and that he was now working at Hog Island. Alice B., 
with whom John was living, came to court and paid |7 for John. She 
said that John was making |60 a week at Hog Island. Payments 
were then very regular for several weeks, when suddenly they 
stopped. On investigation, it was found that John was in the 
hospital at Hog Island on account of an accident. He said that as 
soon as he was well enough to work he would resume his payments. 

Sam M. husband of Mrs. A.'s daughter Adella, one day told her 
that he wanted to borrow |200 from a building association. He 
asked Mrs. A. to sign a paper as security for him, which she did. 
However, instead of this being for the purpose stated, she signed 
away her right to her property. Her house is now under the daugh- 
ter's name. Mrs. A. is 80 years old. When Mr. M. was called to 



284 

court he said that he had taken over the property because Mrs. A. 
was too old to look after it. He said that there was 6 months inter- 
est due on the mortgage, that the taxes and water rent had not been 
paid for a year and that the trust company wanted the mortgage con- 
siderably reduced. He said that- he was willing to give the property 
back to his mother-in-law and also claimed that he had supported her 
for some time. A Probation Officer interviewed Adella, who said 
that she knew her father left enough money to maintain her mother 
till the end of her life, but that she did not know what had become 
of the money. She also stated that a son had left her |500 in cash. 
She claimed that she had offered her mother a home but she soon 
became dissatisfied. 

Mrs. K. and her husband, being of a ripe old age, had not sufficient 
strength to go into the world and earn a living. They had five chil- 
dren, three sons and two daughters. And no one of the children 
was able to support both of his parents. Consequently the old folks 
had been separated after a lifetime of struggling, working and living 
together. Mrs. K. was living with a widowed daughter while her hus- 
band was staying with a son. Mrs. K. thought that if her other chil- 
dren contributed something towards her support that her widowed 
daughter would be able to keep them both. She was very anxious to 
live with her husband. But the widowed daughter was not in favor 
with the rest of the family, who said that she was mean and made 
their mother work for the little returns she got. One son said that 
he alone, without any help from the family, would take his mother 
and give her a better home than that which she had. He was not 
able, however, to support both of his parents. He refused to give any 
money to his mother so long as she was staying with her daughter, 
as he claimed that she would never see any of it. 

Mrs. Q., a widow aged 63, claimed that of five sons, but one, Wil- 
liam, gave her anything towards her support. The court interviewed 
the children and one by one they either claimed that they had families 
of their own to support or that they were out of work. Joseph came 
to court with an attorney saying that his mother was an habitual 
drunkard and scold, and that he wanted her committed to a home 
or hospital. After a few weeks at the St. Francis Home, Mrs. Q. was 
taken away from there. She had but few clothes, but was in good 
physical condition. She went to the post-offlce with a Probation 
OfiQcer to get her mail. There was $14 for her from her son William. 
She also had |15 under her skirt and she wanted to take all but |2 
and deposit it in the bank where she had an account. She then went 
to look for a room but would not pay more than |1 .50 per week. Not 
finding one to her liking she went to the home of her daughter. Here 
a quarrel ensued as the daughter did not want to let her mother in 



285 

the house because her little girl was sick and the noise of Mrs. Q., 
she claimed, would harm the child. Mrs. Q. then went to her son's 
house and again met with refusal at the hands of her daughter-in-law. 
The daughter-in-law would not have her under any conditions, so Mrs. 
Q. returned to her daughter, who finally agreed to keep her until she 
found a room. She stated, however, that if Mrs. Q. made any further 
trouble between her and her husband that she would have her com- 
mitted. 

Mrs. O. came to court and said that she and her husband were 
living together, but as her husband was a cripple he could not earn 
their support. She said she was a seamstress but could work no 
longer as she had to take care of her husband. They had eight 
children of whom five were married and three single. Two of the 
sons were in the Navy. Mrs. O. came to court thinking that between 
the boys, enough could be given to keep her and her husband together. 

Mrs. M. appeared in court and said that Mrs. H., 77 years of age, 
came to live in her house two years ago. She said that Mrs. H. had, 
inherited some money and intended going to a home for the blind. 
But after the debts had been paid off she had not enough money for 
the admittance fee. Mrs. M. stated that none of Mrs. H.'s children 
cared for her and as she was no relation to her, she thought that an- 
other home should be provided. A Probation Officer called on a 
daughter-in-law of Mrs. H., who said that she had kept her mother- 
in-law up until two years ago. One day when she was out working 
Mrs. M. came and took the old lady to her home because she (the 
daughter-in-law), had wanted to put Mrs. H. in a home for the poor. 
She said that her husband would be willing to contribute a little to 
the support of his mother, but as he was earning only $15 a week, he 
could not give much. Mrs. H. was finally committed to the Philadel- 
phia Hospital. 

Mrs. L. came to court and said that she had been, for some time, 
supported by her married daughter, Josephine, who had eight little 
children of her own to support. Her son, Edward, she said was com- 
fortably situated, and could help her. She asked that he be made to 
pay her |1.50 a week. The court then sent a letter to Edward. In 
the mean time, before a reply from Edward had been received, Mrs. 
Annie M. another widowed daughter, came to court and said that she 
was not able to give her mother support but that if her brother 
would pay her board, as he was able to do, she and her sister would 
supply their mother with clothing and other necessities. The court 
placed an order of |1.50 on Edward. After about six weeks Mrs. L. 
came to court and said that her son did not pay his court order regu- 
larly. He was finally made to pay his mother $10 a month. 



286 

Mr. John W., aged 68, said that on account of rheumatism, he had 
not worked steadily for three years. He had been living with his 
son Walter for some time but he wanted John and William, his other 
sons, to contribute to his support. He asked for $1.50 from each. 
John and William agreed, in court, to pay the |1.50 a week. A few 
weeks later Mr. W. came to court complaining of non-payments. He 
said that he had moved away from his son Walter. He earned his 
room and board thru odd jobs. He said he left the home of Walter 
because he had quarreled with Walter's wife. Mr. W. complained 
repeatedly of not getting his money from his sons. When Walter 
came to court, he said that his wife got disgusted with his father be- 
cause he got drunk and on account of this the latter left his home. 
He said that he would take him back if he kept straight but he 
could not afford to pay more than .f0.50 a week. Later Mr. W. re- 
ported that John was back in his payments. He said that John was 
working at Hog Island making |40 a week and could afford to pay. 
This was investigated and found true, but in the meantime, Mr. W. 
got a job himself at Hog Island as switchman at |15 a week, and did 
not need further assistance from his sons. 

Mrs. H. is 53 years old. Her husband deserted her seventeen years 
ago, and ever since, she had a hard time working and trying to bring 
up her four children. She now has rheumatism, is very nervous and 
needs help to support herself. She asked that her son Harry pay 
her $3 a week. On being questioned, Harry stated that he had just 
started work at |13 a week and that he could not afford to pay |3. 
However, he was willing to give |1.50. His mother agreed to this 
and the necessary papers were signed. After some time Mrs. H. came 
tc. court and complained that the payments were made very irregu- 
larly. At about this time Harry married and hearing, thru the Burns 
Detective Agency, that his father had recently died in Cleveland, 
leaving some property, moved to that city with his wife, leaving Mrs. 
H. without any means of support. 

Mrs. M'. appeared in coiirt and complained that altho her sons 
were helping to support her, they were not alloting enough money. 
The sons, on the other hand, stated that their mother was very eccen- 
tric and a crank, and thru her evil disposition has caused the disrup- 
tion of the family. A Probation Officer investigating these charges 
found that Mrs. M. was considered, by neighbors, quite a quiet 
woman. Mrs. M. was under the doctor's care for asthma, and was 
unable to work and support herself. She claimed that all her chil- 
dren were making good wages and could contribute more than, they 
were at present, without inconveniencing themselves. One was a 
lawyer, filling a government position, at Washington. She insisted 
upon having her allotments increased, but her children refused. 



287 

Mrs. K. was living in a furnisiied room with her daughter Laura. 
She said she was 65 years old, a widow for 30 years and had raised 
her family thru her own efforts. She had a pension of $24 a month. 
Mrs. K. was suffering from heart trouble. She said she was put out 
of her house by her son, who previous to his marriage was a very duti- 
ful boy. He had purchased a house for her and the title was in her 
name. Lately he frequently threatened her life and called her vile 
names. Mrs. K. would like to collect the rent on the house or have 
her son vacate. When the deed of the house was drawn up it was 
stated that Mrs. K. was to have a, room in it for life. Now on account 
of her son, she was afraid to go home. When called to court the son 
was very indignant and said that he only bought the house in his 
mother's name so that if anything ever happened to him she would 
always have a home. He also said that his mother was jealous, 
quick tempered and unrelenting. He claimed that his sister, Laura, 
was the main trouble in the case as she abused his wife and children 
and had tried to break up the home. The son said that he never 
threatened his mother and that he refused to give her any money 
as she had a pension. He said, however, that he would take her back 
into the house but that he would not take back Laura. Mrs. E. re- 
fused to live with her son, under these conditions, and continued 
living with her daughter in a furnished room. Here she took sick 
and after lingering three months died. 

Mrs. B., aged 61, said in court, that thru an accident, two years 
ago, she had not been able to work. She asked the four of her sons 
to give her a dollar a week each for support. She also wanted one 
of her sons, who was a widower, to give her a home. One of the 
sons came to court and absolutely refused to give his mother any 
support. He said that on account of drunkenness she had never been 
a mother to him. It was thru her conduct that her husband lost his 
mind and died. He said that she was never able to live with any 
of her sons on account of alcohol and that the three younger girls 
were adopted when very young and that his mother had never both- 
ered to find out where they were. 

Mr. E., son-in-law of Mrs. A. B., had been supporting his mother- 
in-law, who was 72 years old, for 12 years. He earned |1,400, a year 
but thought that A. B.'s sons should help support the old lady. A. B. 
used laudanum to the extent of three ounces a week and was under 
the doctor's care. Mr. E. wanted two sons to contribute |1.50 a week 
each towards the support of Mrs. A. B. When called to court one son 
said that he was only making .fl3 per week and had a family of six 
children to support. He said however that he was willing to do all he 
could to help his mother. Mr. E. called again at court to see what 
had been done. He said that it was the price of the drug and that the 



288 

doctor's bills that embarrassed him. The other son wrote to the 
court stating that he has honestly kept his agreement with Mr. E. to 
pay |1.25 per week for his mother's drug. He also stated that he 
was making but |18 a week. A conference was held at court where 
one son agreed to pay $1.25 per week and signed the papers accord- 
ingly, while the other refused to make any written statement, saying 
that his word was good. 

Mrs. D., age 76, formerly lived with her son Edward. One day re- 
turning from a visit she found the door locked and she was refused 
admittance. She is now living with a friend who is willing to keep 
her for two dollars a week. Mrs. D. asked for this sum from her sons 
and was refused. 

0. F. is sick and nervous and has to stop work for a while. She 
has two small children who are not able to work. She asked her 
married son, Frank, for help, but he said that he had to look after his 
wife first. Frank has passed the examination for paymaster in the 
Navy Yard. Frank never replied to the court's letter, but Mrs. F. 
said that he was making flOO a month and that his wife was making 
the same. They have no children and Mrs. F. thinks that they are 
able to give her !^2 a week. Mrs. F.'s two young children are very 
delicate. On being interviewed Frank said that he was boarding and 
that it cost him |20 a week. He also said that his wife was sick 
and had to work to help pay the doctor bills. Under the circum- 
stances, his salary was insufficient to help his mother. A Probation 
Officer interviewed Mrs. F. who said that one of her daughters was 
working for the Bell Telephone Co., making |10 a week. Of this 
she gave |9.50 to her mother. That was her sole support. Mrs. F. 
wanted an order put on her son Frank to pay her |2 a week as long 
as she was not able to work. This, she said, would go to the younger 
cliildren and not to herself. 



289 



APPENDIX 15. 



Expectation of Life in Years, hy Sex. at Specified Ages, Sixty-fixye 
Years and Over, Original Registration States, Utiited States, 190!) 
to 1911. 



Age. 


[ Males and Females. 


Males. 


Females. 


65 


I 

11.60 


11.24 


11.96 


70 


0.11 


8.83 


9.38 


75 


6.99 


6.75 


7.20 


80 


5.25 


5-. 10 


6.37 


85 


4.00 


3.90 


4.08 


90 


3.03 


3.01 


3.05 


m 


2.35 


2.36 


2.34 


100 


i 1.85 


1.81 


1.91 



Number and Percentage Population Aged Sixty-five Years and Over 
in Each Five-Year Age Period After Age Sixty-five, United States, 
1910. 



Age Period. 
Total: 


Males and 


Females. 


Males. 


Fetnales. 


Number. 


Per cent. 


Number. 


Per cent. 


Number. 


Per cent. 


65 and over, _ _ 


3,949,624 

1,679,503 

1,113,728 

667,302 

321,754 

122.818 

33.473 

10,946 


100.0 

42.5 

28. is 

16.9 

8.1 

3.1 

.8 

.3 


I,9a5,976 

863,994 

i)61,644 

531,280 

153, «5 

66,335 

14.. 563 

4,426 


100.0 
43.5 
28.3 
36.7 
7.7 
2.8 
.7 
.2 


1,963,548 
816,509 
662,084 
336,022 
168,009 
66,483 
18,920 
6,621 


100.0 


65 to 69, 


41.6 


70 to 74, 


28.1 


76 to 79 


17.1 


80 to 84, 


8.6 


SS to 89, 


3.4 


90 to 9A, 


1.0 




.3 







Deaths Per 1,000 Living, Original Registration States, United States, 
1900 to 1911, hy Sc.r and iy Age Periods, Sixty-fl.ve Years and Over. 



Age Period. 


Males and Females. 


Males. 


Females. 


flS to 69 




48.6 
71.6 
106.2 
160.9 
225.3 
313.2 
414.7 
540.5 


.51.7 
75.1 
112.8 
167.0 
234.4 
315.4 
410.3 
559.3 


45.5 








75 to 79 
80 to 84 
85 to 89 
90 to 94 
Q^ to 99 




155.7 














532.6 


100 and 


_ 


o , 





"(Tables^taken from the New York Medical Journal, May 19, 1917.) 



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